Tinker Air Force Base

Tinker Air Force Base

Infobox Airport
name = Tinker Air Force Base
nativename = Part of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC)
nativename-a =
nativename-r =


image-width = 300
caption = Tinker AFB, 20 February 1995
IATA = TIK
ICAO = KTIK
type = Military
owner =
operator = United States Air Force
city-served =
location = Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
elevation-f = 1,291
elevation-m = 393.5
coordinates = coord|35|24|52.8|N|97|23|12.0|W|type:airport
website =
metric-elev =
metric-rwy =
r1-number = 17/35
r1-length-f = 11,100
r1-length-m = 3,383
r1-surface = PEM
r2-number = 12/30
r2-length-f = 10,000
r2-length-m = 3,048
r2-surface = PEM

Tinker Air Force Base Airport codes|TIK|KTIK is a major U.S. Air Force base located in the southeast Oklahoma City area, near the suburb of Midwest City, Oklahoma. The base has more than 26,000 military and civilian employees and is the largest single-site employer in the state of Oklahoma. The installation covers approx. 9 square miles and has 760 buildings with a building floor space of over convert|15200000|sqft|m2.Fact|date=April 2008

Tinker is the headquarters of the Air Force Materiel Command's (AFMC) Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) (FHZ), which is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software and avionics and accessories components. The commander of OC-ALG is [http://www.tinker.af.mil/library/biographies/bio_print.asp?bioID=9872&page=1 Major General Loren M. Reno] . It is one of three Air Force ALCs, the others being Ogden Air Logistics Center (OO-ALC) at Hill AFB, Utah and Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC) at Robins AFB, Georgia.

The host unit at Tinker is the 72d Air Base Wing (72 ABW) which provides services and support for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center and its tenant organizations. The Wing and Installation Commander of Tinker Air Force Base is [http://www.tinker.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=9088 Colonel Allen Jamerson] .

Units currently stationed at Tinker

Major units

Tinker AFB is home to major Department of Defense, Air Force and Navy activities with critical national defense missions.
* Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC)
OC-ALC is the largest of three ALCs in the Air Force Materiel Command and provides depot maintenance, product support, services and supply chain management, as well as information support for 31 weapon systems, 10 commands, 93 Air Force bases and 46 foreign nations. It is the contracting office for the USAF's Contract Field Teams program.
*72nd Air Base Wing (72 ABW)
The diverse, multi-unit, multi-mission wing includes base services and support for the OC-ALC and associate organizations as well as dependents and retirees.
**72nd Medical Group (MDG)
**72nd Mission Support Group (MSG)
*76th Maintenance Wing (MXW)
**76 Aircraft Maintenance Group (AMXG)
**654 Combat Logistics Support Squadron (CLSS)
**76 Propulsion Maintenance Group (PMXG)
**76 Commodities Maintenance Group (CMXG)
**76 Software Maintenance Group (SMXG)
**76 Maintenance Support Group (MXSG)
*327th Aircraft Sustainment Wing (ASW)
**327 ASG (B-52 & Cruise Missile)
**727 ASG (Contractor Logistics Support)
**747 ASG (Combat Systems)
**827 ASG (C/KC-135)
*448th Combat Sustainment Wing (CSW)
**448 Combat Sustainment Group (448 CBSG)
**748 Combat Sustainment Group (748 CBSG)
**848 Combat Sustainment Group (848 CBSG)
**948 Combat Sustainment Group (948 CBSG)

Tennant units

552d Air Control Wing

The 552d Air Control Wing (ACW, ACC, Tail Code: "OK") flies Air Combat Command's E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft. The E-3's radar and other sensors provide deep-look surveillance, warning, interception control and airborne battle management. The 552 ACW encompasses 3 groups:
* 552d Operations Group
** 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron
** 963d Airborne Air Control Squadron "Blue Knights" (E-3)
** 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron (E-3)
** 965th Airborne Air Control Squadron (E-3)
** 966th Airborne Air Control Squadron (E-3, Boeing 707)
** 970th Airborne Air Control Squadron (Reserve)
** 552d Training Squadron
* 552d Maintenance Group
* 552d Communications Group
** 752d Communication Squadron
** 552d Computer Systems Squadron

507th Air Refueling Wing

The 507th Air Refueling Wing (507 ARW) of the (Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is one of two Air Force Reserve flying units in the state of Oklahoma. The 507 ARW is opertionally gaied by Air Mobility Command (AMC), but normally reports to Fourth Air Force (4 AF) and supports AMC's airlift and air refueling requirements.

The 507th consists of four subordinate groups, 15 squadrons and five flights, employing approximately 1,155 men and women. Approximately 184 members of the 507th are Air Reserve Technicians (ARTs) who serve as a full-time support cadre along with 20 traditional civilian employees. Approximately 350 additional reservists serve with the 931st Air Refueling Group (931 ARG), a subordinate unit of the 507 ARW, that provides direct support to the Air Mobility Command's 22d Air Refueling Wing at McConnell AFB, Kansas.

The 507 ARW operates eight KC-135R "Stratotanker" air refueling aircraft at Tinker and works together with the Oklahoma Air National Guard's 137th Air Refueling Wing (137 ARW), also colocated at Tinker. As an associate unit, the 507 ARW also operates the Federal Aviation Administration's FAA's British Aerospace Hawker 125-800 aircraft (ex-USAF C-29A) in the aviation standards and navigational aid inspection mission. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/c-29.htm]

137th Air Refueling Wing

The 137th Air Refueling Wing (137 ARW) flies the KC-135R in conjunction with the 507th Air Refueling Wing, having assumed an aerial refueling mission in 2008. The 137 ARW traces its origins to the 137th Fighter Group, founded on 21 November 1946 at Norman, Oklahoma and receiving its Federal recognition on 18 December 1947. In April 1949, a tornado struck the base at Norman. The damage was considered too extensive for economical repair and the decision was made to move the 137th to the present facility at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. An Air National Guard Station (AGS) was constructed and the move accomplished on 6 September 1949.

The 137th began as the 185th Fighter Squadron, with the P-51 Mustang. Afterwards, a variety of aircraft have been assigned to the wing, including the F-80 Shooting Star and F-86 Sabre Jet. Subsequently renamed as a Troop Carrier Group, Tactical Airlift Group, Airlift Group and Airlift Wing, the 137th later flew the C-97 Stratocruiser, C-124 Globemaster, and C-130 Hercules, having flown the latter from 1974 to 2007. Its previous C-130H models replaced older versions of the Hercules and were received directly from the factory, becoming the first ANG unit to receive brand new aircraft.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Will Rogers AGS by relocating the 137th Airlift Wing (ANG) to Tinker AFB, redesignating it as an air refueling wing and associating it with the Air Force Reserve's 507th Air Refueling Wing while redistributing its C-130H aircraft to other ANG airlift wings.

TRATCOM Wing ONE

Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) Wing ONE is a one-of-a kind aviation unit in the U.S. Navy. STRATCOMWING ONE provides a vital, secure communications link to the designed to be used in the event of nuclear war or other major conflict or incident in order to maintain communications between the decision makers comprising the National Command Authority (NCA) and the triad of US strategic nuclear weapon delivery systems, i.e., manned bombers, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Also known as the TACAMO mission for "Take Charge and Move Out," STRATCOMWING ONE operates the Navy's E-6 Mercury aircraft in two operational squadrons and EC-18F aircraft bailed from USAF in a third training squadron. STRATCOMWING ONE's primary mission is to receive, verify and retransmit Emergency Action Messages (EAMs) to US strategic forces. With the retirement of the USAF EC-135 Looking Glass airframe, E-6 Mercury upgraded with the Airborne Launch Control System (ALCS) have also assumed the airborne command post mission for the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). OC-ALC airframe artisans perform depot work on the Navy's E-6 Mercury aircraft, which are based on the Boeing 707 airframe. The wing's Navy sailors perform organizational and field level maintenance work, with the former being integrated at the flying squadron level while the latter is performed at the wing's aircraft intermediate maintenance department (AIMD) level. The wing also operates alert facilities for E-6B aircraft at Travis AFB, California and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. STRATCOMWING ONE's subordinate squadrons include:
* Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron THREE (VQ-3) (E-6B)
* Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron FOUR (VQ-4) (E-6B)
* Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron SEVEN (VQ-7) (EC-18F) [TACAMO]

Other units

*The 38th Engineering Installation Group has worldwide responsibility for engineering and installation of all communications and electronic facilities for the Air Force.
*The 3rd Combat Communications Group (ACC), colloquially known as the "Third Herd", provides deployable communications, computer systems, navigational aids and air traffic control services anywhere in the world.
*Defense Mega Center Oklahoma City is the local branch of the Defense Information Systems Agency. The Mega center operates computer systems for the base and serves 110 other bases in 46 states.
*Defense Distribution Depot Oklahoma provides the receipt, storage, issue, inspection and shipment of material, including material quality control, preservation and packaging, inventory, transportation functions and pick up and delivery services in support of OC-ALC and other Tinker-based organizations.

History

Tinker Air Force Base is named in honor of Major General Clarence L. Tinker (1887–1942). From Pawhuska, Oklahoma and part Osage Indian, General Tinker received his wings in 1921. General Tinker was a graduate of Wentworth Military Academy who went on to become the first Major General of American Indian descent in U.S. Army history.

In 1926 he was awarded the Soldiers Medal for returning to his blazing aircraft to rescue a fellow officer. On 7 June 1942, he led a flight of B-24 Liberators on a long-range strike against Japanese forces on Wake Island during World War II. General Tinker was killed when his aircraft presumably crashed into the sea. At the time of his death, General Tinker was commander of the Hawaii-based Seventh Air Force.

The base was renamed in his honor on 13 January 1948.

Major commands

* Air Service Comd, 1 Mar 1942 - 17 Jul 1944
* AAF Materiel and Services, 17 Jul 1944 - 31 Aug 1944
* AAF Technical Service Comd, 31 Aug 1944 - 1 Jul 1945
* Air Technical Service Comd, 1 Jul 1945 - 9 Mar 1946
* Air Materiel Comd, 9 Mar 1946 - 1 Apr 1961
* Air Force Logistics Command, 1 Apr 1961 - 1 Jul 1992
* Air Force Materiel Command , 1 Jul 1992 - Present

Base operating units

* OCAD (Oklahoma City Air Depot) Liaison Staff, 1 Mar 1942 - 15 Feb 1943
* 497th Base HQ and Base HQ Sq, 15 Feb 1943 - 1 Apr 1944
* 4136th AAF Base Unit, 1 Apr 1944 - 26 Sep 1947
* 4136th AF Base Unit, 26 Sep 1947 - 28 Aug 1948
* 2919th Area Supply Gp, 28 Aug 1948 - 15 Mar 1951
* 2944th Depot Training Wg, 15 Mar 1951 - 15 Jul 1953
* 2854th Air Base Wg, 15 Jul 1953 - 16 Oct 1964
* 2854th Air Base Gp, 16 Oct 1964 - 1 Oct 1994
* 72 Air Base Wing, 1 Oct 1994 - Present

Major units assigned

* OK City Air Depot 1 Mar 1942 - 3 Jan 1955
* 323rd Bomb Group 9 Sep 1947 - 17 Mar 1951
* 456th Bomb Group 26 Sep 1947 - 17 Mar 1951
* 323rd Bomb Wing 27 Jun 1949 - 28 Mar 1951
* 506th Strategic Fighter Wing 20 Mar 1955 - 1 Apr 1959
* 1707 Air Transport Wing 1 Jun 1959 - 8 Jan 1966
* 443d Military Airlift Wing 8 Jan 1966 - 5 May 1969

Operational history

In 1940, the War Department was considering the central United States as a location for a supply and maintenance depot. Oklahoma City leaders offered a convert|480|acre|km2|sing=on site and acquired an option for convert|960|acre|km2 additional land. On April 8, 1941, the order was officially signed awarding the depot to Oklahoma City.

Tinker Field was the site of a Douglas Aircraft factory producing approximately half of the C-47 Skytrains used in World War II. The site also produced a number of A-20 Havocs. Production ceased in 1945.

The first successful tornado forecast in history was issued on March 25, 1948 from Tinker, about three hours before the tornado hit the southeast corner of the base. A granite marker in the Heritage Airpark on the base commemorates the event.

On September 29, 1957, Buddy Holly and The Crickets recorded "An Empty Cup", "Rock Me My Baby", "You've Got Love", and "Maybe Baby" in the Tinker Air Force Base Officer's Club. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xni1qJOOfZE]

On November 14, 1984, a massive fire that burned for two days destroyed or damaged over convert|700000|sqft|m2 in the Air Logistics Center, Building 3001. The resulting repairs cost $63.5 million.

During much of the 1990s, Tinker was home to the Automated Weather Network switching facility, which consolidated all U.S. military weather data worldwide. Originally located at Carswell Air Force Base, this unit was later moved to an Air Force Weather Agency facility at Offutt Air Force Base.

In the late 1990s Tinker became home to the Navy's "Take Charge and Move Out" (TACAMO) wing, which provides maintenance, security, operations, administration, training and logistic support for the Navy's E-6B Mercury aircraft fleet. TACAMO [http://www.tacamo.navy.mil] was the first Navy Air Wing fully integrated on an Air Force base, carrying out a Navy mission in joint operations.

On May 3, 1999, a deadly tornado caused extensive damage to the northwest corner of the base and surrounding communities. [ [http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/storms/19990503/bigoutbreak.html Tornado Track Map for the May 3, 1999 Tornado Outbreak in Central Oklahoma ] ] For many days afterwards, Tinker personnel helped by providing shelters, search and rescue, and clean-up efforts.

In July 2005, Tinker hosted the US Air Force Thunderbirds as part of their Star Spangled Salute, the base's annual Independence Day celebration.

The Oklahoma Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul Technology Center (MROTC) is a public/private partnership, managed by Battelle Oklahoma, owned by Oklahoma Industries Authority (OIA), and partners with the Department of Defense to provide a national center for technical solutions to aging commercial and military aircraft. The MROTC ( [http://www.aeroeoc.com] ) is a 370-acre world-class MRO facility, on the south east site of Tinker AFB, sharing runways and security with the base.

Tinker celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the E-3 Sentry from June 29 to July 1 2007. Past and present airmen were invited to swap stories and learn about the latest upgrades. [ [http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123059395 Airmen Honor 30 years of AWACS] ]

On May 13, 2008, Oklahoma County voters voted in favor of $71.5 million in general obligation bonds, the majority of which will be used to purchase the former General Motors plant which is located on the south west section of the base, next to the runway. The 3.8 million square foot (353,000 m²) facility and surrounding acreage would be leased to the Air Force. Tinker officials said they would use the facility to create Tinker Aerospace Complex, which would host some current 76th Maintenance Wing operations as well as other Department of Defense missions, including work on the C-17 engines, joint strike fighter engines and core work on the new KC-45 tanker. The Air Force would occupy about 2/3 of the facility with work currently being done in 69 separate facilities on base, many of which are World War II-era temporary buildings located in runway clear zones. Private contractors will also be given the opportunity to leased space as needed for military contracts. [http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2008/03/11/afx4759053.html] . Tinker officials agreed to buy the plant for $55 million, and will get access to the plant in September 2008. [http://newsok.com/update-gm-plant-purchase-for-tinker/article/3256249/?tm=1213248604 GM plant purchase for Tinker]

Transformation efforts at Tinker AFB

Several transformational efforts are under work at Tinker AFB, including 5S, 6 Sigma, Lean, and Balanced Score Card.

See also

* Oklahoma World War II Army Airfields
* Air Force Materiel Command
* Central Air Defense Force (Air Defense Command)
* 33rd Air Division (United States)

References

Much of this text in an early version of this article was taken from pages on the [http://www.tinker.af.mil Tinker Air Force Base Website] , which as a work of the U.S. Government is presumed to be a public domain resource. That information was supplemented by:

* Mueller, Robert (1989). Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. USAF Reference Series, Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6
* Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.

External links

* [http://www.tinker.af.mil/ Tinker AFB Public Web Site]
* [http://www.tinkertakeoff.com/ Tinker Takeoff]
* [http://www.tinker-af.org/ Tinker OC-ALC]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/tinker.htm/ Tinker AFB] (from Globalsecurity.org)
* [http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/T/TI005.html Major General Clarence Leonard Tinker]


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