by Senior Airman Kasey Phipps
137th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
8/1/2015 - WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. -- The
137th Air Refueling Wing officially welcomed flying operations back to
Will Rogers Air National Guard Base by recognizing the arrival of the
Air Force MC-12W aircraft during a ribbon cutting ceremony, Aug. 1.
"We're very excited to have the mission back at Will Rogers and have
everybody here and back under one roof," said 137 ARW Commander Col.
Devin R. Wooden.
Following Wooden, Army Maj. Gen. Robbie L. Asher, the Oklahoma National
Guard Adjutant General, spoke on the varied history of the 137 ARW and
its aircraft while also looking forward to the importance of the MC-12
"This is going to be a challenging mission," said Asher. "This is going
to be an exciting mission, and this is going to be a demanding mission.
There's a huge need for this aircraft in theaters around the world."
The arrival of the MC-12 and the 137 ARW's transition to the Air Force
Special Operations Command marks the return of flying operations to
WRANGB for the first time since 2007.
"This is important to bring flying operations back to Will Rogers
because it allows our Airmen to actually see the mission," said Wooden.
"It lets everyone know that what they're supporting is actually taking
place and just gives a visual indicator of what it is we're here to do.
Lt. Gen. Bradley A. Heithold, Air Force Special Operation Command
commander, looks forward to the partnership between AFSOC and the
Oklahoma Air National Guard and focused on the intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance aspects of the AFSOC mission.
"The whole reason why we're standing up this wing here is so we can
provide more ISR to combatant commanders," he said. "It's vitally
important to the success of our mission on the battlefield."
The MC-12 is the first of 13 aircraft slated to arrive at WRANGB.