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The longhorns are back on Altus AFB

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Longhorn cattle graze before the start of the 16th Annual Altus AFB Cattle Drive Aug. 21, 2014. During the event, base leaders and rodeo staff members herd the cattle throughout the base for all to view. The cattle drive has become a precursor for the long-standing annual Great Plains Stampede Rodeo held in the city of Altus, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon Davis/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Longhorn cattle graze before the start of the 16th Annual Altus AFB Cattle Drive Aug. 21, 2014. During the event, base leaders and rodeo staff members herd the cattle throughout the base for all to view. The cattle drive has become a precursor for the long-standing annual Great Plains Stampede Rodeo held in the city of Altus, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon Davis/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Horseback riders greet children at the base youth center during the 16th Annual Altus AFB Cattle Drive, Aug 21, 2014. Base leaders and Great Plains Stampede Rodeo members drove a herd of longhorn cattle throughout Altus AFB to kick-off the Great Plains Stampede Rodeo and military appreciation night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Franklin R. Ramos/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Horseback riders greet children at the base youth center during the 16th Annual Altus AFB Cattle Drive, Aug 21, 2014. Base leaders and Great Plains Stampede Rodeo members drove a herd of longhorn cattle throughout Altus AFB to kick-off the Great Plains Stampede Rodeo and military appreciation night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Franklin R. Ramos/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – U.S. Air Force1st Lt. Ryan Andrews, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron installation deployment officer, lets children at the base youth center to pet a horse during the 16th Annual Altus AFB Cattle Drive, Aug 21, 2014. During the event, base leaders and rodeo staff members herd the cattle throughout the base for all to view. The cattle drive has become a precursor for the long-standing annual Great Plains Stampede Rodeo held in the City of Altus, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Franklin R. Ramos/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – U.S. Air Force1st Lt. Ryan Andrews, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron installation deployment officer, lets children at the base youth center to pet a horse during the 16th Annual Altus AFB Cattle Drive, Aug 21, 2014. During the event, base leaders and rodeo staff members herd the cattle throughout the base for all to view. The cattle drive has become a precursor for the long-standing annual Great Plains Stampede Rodeo held in the City of Altus, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Franklin R. Ramos/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Ranchers from the Great Plains Stampede Rodeo guide a herd of longhorn cattle onto Altus AFB during the 16th Annual Base Cattle Drive, Aug. 21, 2014. The event is a tradition that started Aug. 26, 1999 when 15 riders drove a herd of longhorn cattle through the streets of Altus AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Levin Boland/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Ranchers from the Great Plains Stampede Rodeo guide a herd of longhorn cattle onto Altus AFB during the 16th Annual Base Cattle Drive, Aug. 21, 2014. The event is a tradition that started Aug. 26, 1999 when 15 riders drove a herd of longhorn cattle through the streets of Altus AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Levin Boland/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Leaders of the 97th Air Mobility Wing sit horseback during the 16th Annual Altus AFB Cattle Drive, Aug 21, 2014. During the event, base leaders and rodeo staff members herd the cattle throughout the base for all to view. The cattle drive has become a precursor for the long-standing annual Great Plains Stampede Rodeo held in the City of Altus, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Franklin R. Ramos/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Leaders of the 97th Air Mobility Wing sit horseback during the 16th Annual Altus AFB Cattle Drive, Aug 21, 2014. During the event, base leaders and rodeo staff members herd the cattle throughout the base for all to view. The cattle drive has become a precursor for the long-standing annual Great Plains Stampede Rodeo held in the City of Altus, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Franklin R. Ramos/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The 16th Annual Altus Air Force Base Cattle Drive took place Aug. 21, 2014, to kick off the Great Plains Stampede Rodeo.

Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing and surrounding community members rode on horses to guide more than 20 longhorn cattle around the base while families, students and other base residents watched and experienced the event.

The tradition began Aug. 23, 1999 when 15 horseback riders drove a herd of more than 30 longhorn cattle through the base.

"Today is a day where the community and base can just get together and show the ties that we have," said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Bryan Creager, 97th Air Mobility Wing command chief. "It's been a great day and the partnership has been outstanding."

Spectators had the chance to pet horses and interact with riders while the cattle stopped to take a break from along the trail.

"What other air force base do you get to see cattle and group and wing leadership ride horses through the base. I think this shows the awesome relationship we have with the city. This is huge," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Theodore Shanks, who brought his children to see the cows.

The Great Plains Stampede Rodeo Military Appreciation Night will be at the City of Altus rodeo grounds Aug. 21 and is scheduled to begin with a free dinner at 6 p.m. and the main event begins at 8 p.m. Airmen and their families are encouraged to join the community with music, food and entertainment.

"One of the great things is getting out and showing the Airmen [even though] we're remote and isolated you can have a lot of fun; you just have to open your mind a little bit and experience things you've never done before," said Creager. "We get to bring military families out and show them what a rodeo does and the opening ceremony is going to be a great time."
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