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VCSAF, former 97 AMW leaders return for first ‘Legacy of the Spear’

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.-- Leaders from the 97th Air Mobility Wing hosted the first “Legacy of the Spear” event at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, April 19, 2022.

To commemorate the event, 11 previous commanders and four previous command chiefs returned to Altus to participate in discussion panels, visit various base facilities, recognize Airmen, and celebrate the wing’s heritage.

Col. Blaine Baker, 97th AMW commander, said the previous senior leaders’ participation in the event helped Airmen understand the base’s history, capabilities, and potential.

“It's been said we are standing on the shoulders of giants,” said Baker. “Many of those giants have joined us right here at Mobility's Hometown’s welcome mat. If we are able to fully achieve our vision, it is only because they have built the foundation.”

The event kicked off with a base-wide commander’s call in which Gen. David Allvin, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, spoke to attendees about the importance of Altus’ mission and building a legacy.

“The energy here, it’s invigorating,” he said. “When I look out there and I see the Airmen and the mission all around us…it really feels like this is home. This is where our air mobility starts. This is where our Air Force gets its strength.”

Allvin went on to discuss the importance of legacy which, for the “Mighty 97th,” is symbolized by the flaming spear. The icon dates back to 1942 when it was displayed on American heavy bombers.

“As we inaugurate the 'Legacy of the Spear', we are celebrating the past and looking into the future,” he said “It is very important to do this now because we are in a significant time in our nation’s history. The future is complex, fast-paced, and consequential.”

While legacy and heritage were constant topics throughout the day, including at the discussion panels, all-call, and wing tailgate, some of the senior leaders discussed the future of Altus’ core mission: training inspired, proficient, adaptive Airmen.

“Mobility's Hometown is the center of excellence,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Amrhein, 19th Air Force vice commander. “All of the upcoming changes are to bolster a quality of training which, in turn, could increase efficiency of training. It could be an evolutionary step and it takes commitment from everyone at every level.”

Allvin said recognizing legacy is important, but also acknowledged another definition of the word and encouraged Airmen to embrace the future, echoing the wing’s historic motto: “Venit Hora.”

“Legacy as an adjective is something that is no longer modern or advanced. So, if we create a legacy Air Force, we lose and so does the nation,” he said. “History will punish us if we fail, and history is rushing at us faster than ever before although it is not too late. The hour is upon us, better said, ‘the hour has come.’”

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