An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

44th Annual Boom Symposium flies into Altus AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kari Degraffenreed
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the Altus Boom Association hosted the 44th Annual Boom Operator Symposium at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, April 19-20, 2024.

More than 100 active duty, guard, reserve, and retired boom operators came to Altus AFB to celebrate the symposium with ice breaker events, briefings from leaders in their field, and an awards banquet to cap it all off.

This year, Travis AFB, California, sent a KC-10 Extender aircraft as a static display during the symposium, due to the projected retirement of the tanker in September 2024.

“It’s an honor to bring the KC-10 here to Altus,” said Technical Sgt. Curtis Clawson, 60th Operations Group KC-10 evaluator. “We brought it here to showcase to Altus why we love it so much and as a way to say goodbye as it divests.”

Near the end of the first day, a memorial was held at Wings of Freedom Park. Boom operators donned their flight suits and fell into formation to honor the boom operators who have fallen in service to their country. At the conclusion of the national anthem, a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and KC-46 Pegasus aircraft executed a flyover, while an honor guardsmen played taps.

“Altus is where we are born and bred,” said Master Sgt. Bobby Mitchell Cash, 54th Air Refueling Squadron superintendent. “This is square one of where booms are created, so it’s amazing that we were able to hold the symposium here and it means everything to us to host the memorial.”