TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Even the desert winter couldn’t deter the members of the Air Force Sustainment Center Civic Leader Program from learning more about the Air Force Sustainment Center’s missions as they trooped through the snow and slush to visit various buildings across Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
Nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Range, Hill Air Force Base, home to the Ogden Air Logistics Complex and the 75th Air Base Wing, plays a critical part of forging readiness and accelerating readiness for today’s warfighter.
The group started their morning learning about the missions of the 75th ABW and the OO-ALC, led by Col. Jeffrey Holland and Maj. Gen. Kenyon Bell respectively, before heading to the F-16 production line for a tour. Standing next to the fighters was a different experience than previous tours of larger cargo planes, but the intricate wires and gears of both aircraft are treated with the same attention to detail by the artisans of the process.
This was Ben Fernandez’s first tour of Hill Air Force Base with the Civic Leader Program, but he hopes not his last. As vice president of DM50, a nonprofit, volunteer group that advocates for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, he has seen how community leaders can directly impact the lives of Airmen and their families.
“Being able to see first-hand the connectiveness of Hill to the advocacy work we do with Davis-Monthan reinforces my commitment to the economic impact, providing workforce development opportunities to spouses and families, and enhancing their feeling of belonging to the communities surrounding the bases.”
“It is important that our civic leaders get a sense of the scope of our mission,” said Lt. Gen. Stacey Hawkins, commander, Air Force Sustainment Center. “By introducing them to the gifted artisans that keep our warfighters coming home safe, they can advocate for all Airmen to find the resources they need to support the world’s finest air force.”
The tour also included a stop at the paint facility and a close look at the landing gears facility.
“Exploring the landing gear facility at Hill Air Force Base revealed a world of intricate details,” said Mary Blankenship Pointer, senior vice president of Frontier State Bank in Oklahoma City. “It showcased the precision and dedication involved in producing these essential components.”
“As impressive as the industrial capabilities existing at Hill AFB are, the thing that stood out to me most was the obvious dedication to mission readiness, patriotic service and innovation exhibited by the people we visited with during our tours,” said Rick Hartle, board member of the Utah Defense Alliance and treasurer and past chair for the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee.
The Sustainment Center is responsible for sustaining combat power through depot maintenance, supply chain management and operations and installation support. AFSC provides sustainment for the U.S. Air Force’s weapon systems, including the F-35 Lightning, KC-46 Pegasus, A-10 Thunderbolt, B-1 Lancer, B-52 Stratofortress, C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules, E-3 Sentry, E-6 Mercury, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Falcon, F-22 Raptor, KC-135 Stratotanker, as well as a wide range of engines and component parts.