End of an era: Model of total force comes to a close
By Maj. Jon Quinlan, 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 20, 2015
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- A historic chapter is now closed as one of the first Air Reserve Component Associations between the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard formally ended June 30 after a successful eight year partnership between the 507th and 137th Air Refueling Wings.
The ARC association ended with an Oklahoma Air National Guard crew's final training flight on a Reserve KC-135, logging the last flight hours under the historic association.
"The 507th ARW's association with the Oklahoma Air National Guard has been a model of Total Force integration success," said Col. Brian Davis, 507th Air Refueling Wing commander. "Our formal association has now ended, but the ongoing relationship between the Guard and Reserve in Oklahoma will certainly continue for years to come."
During the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure and Total Force Integration process, the 507th Air Refueling Wing was selected to become one of the first Air Force Reserve units to serve as a host wing for an associate Air National Guard wing. Aircrew and maintenance members from the 137th ARW moved from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base and started flying and maintaining the KC-135 as equal partners in 2007 at Tinker Air Force Base.
During the association's past eight years, the wings combined have amassed more than 13,500 flying hours, according to Lt. Col. Mark Hole, 185th Air Refueling Squadron director of operations. The partnership successes included an Excellent rating in the 2012 Nuclear and Conventional Operational Readiness Inspection, 86 percent KC-135 Mission Capability Rating, successful deployments to Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Gelsenkirchen Air Base, Germany, and exercise support missions in the Rim of the Pacific exercise.
"From the beginning, members of the Guard and Reserve laid the foundation that made the association work and made it so successful," said Davis. "A total partnership in all areas and at all levels was key. It was the people who made it work. Every unit had a story of teamwork and overcoming obstacles."
Going forward, the 507th ARW will continue to fly and maintain the KC-135R Stratotanker for Air Force Reserve Command. The 137th will transition to Air Force Special Operations Command operating the MC-12 Liberty for the Oklahoma Air National Guard out of Will Rogers.