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AAFB Airmen attend AERO OK at state capitol

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trenton Jancze
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma visited the Oklahoma State Capitol, where they met local legislators and explored the 2023 AERO Oklahoma Aviation, Aerospace and Defense Awareness expo, March 22, 2023.

The AERO Oklahoma expo is an annual event at the State Capitol, where many attendees including the Governor of Oklahoma, Oklahoma legislators, Airmen from Altus, Tinker and Vance AFB, and aviation industry representatives share updates and industry modernizations.

“It was a really awesome networking event,” said Staff Sgt. Jeff Michal, 54th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator instructor. “I got to meet people who were boom operators and have moved on to these other jobs on the outside of the Air Force, where our skills and experience are highly sought after. We also got to interact with the next generation of aviators, which is an important part of being an Airman.”

Throughout the day, Airmen had the opportunity to visit information booths and learn about the flying community across Oklahoma. They also met Oklahoma State Rep. Gerrid Kendrix and Sen. Brent Howard, who are both from Altus and represent the community.

“It was a great opportunity,” said Airman 1st Class Collin Rono, 97th AMW command post controller. “Meeting the people who represent our local community was a unique experience, because that is not something you get to do often.”

After the visit, Col. Blaine Baker, 97th AMW commander, shared his excitement for this opportunity to visit the Capitol.

“This is an important event for us to connect with the broader Air Force and aerospace community across Oklahoma,” he said. “It is a great partnership opportunity, a great learning opportunity for our Airmen and a great opportunity to interact with and see what is going on in the entire flying community across the state.”