Strategic Air Command
SAC Bases:  Altus Air Force Base
Location: Altus Oklahoma
Home of: 96th Bombardment Wing: 1953-1957;  11th Bombardment Wing;: 1957-58 Atlas Missiles: 1960-65  
Status:  Operational - 97th Air Mobility Wing
Links:  Altus AFB
Altus AFB is the U.S. Air Force's only Strategic Airlift and Air Refueling Training Center.
It's primary mission is to provide quality training to produce the finest combat-ready aircrew members for the United States Air Force. The training at Altus is done in a three phase approach: Academic Phase, Simulator Phase, and Flying Phase.

     Altus Air Force Base (AFB), Oklahoma, is located within the corporate city limits of its namesake, Altus. The base is 1,376 feet above sea level; approximately 3,500 acres in size; and has approximately 3,500 military members and 550 civilians assigned. On average, about 300-400 students are in training at any one time.
Before SAC
     The base was established on June 17, 1942 and designated Altus Army Air Field on April 8, 1943.  It served as an advanced flying school during World War II.  It was inactivated  on May 15,1945.  The Tactical Air Command reactivated the base on January 8, 1953.
Strategic Air Command Base
      In the summer of 1954, Altus AFB was assigned to the Strategic Air Command .  The 96th Bombardment Wing  moved to the base.  It flew B-47s and KC-97s.    It transferred to Dyess AFB, Texas on on September 8, 1957. December 13, 1957, the 11th Bombardment Wing moved to Altus and began receiving B-52Es.  SAC constructed twelve underground Atlas missile silos around Altus.  They were operational from June 1, 1961 to March 25, 1965.  Altus operated as a B-52 base from 1957-to 1968.
     The central location of Altus AFB led to the expansion of the wing's refueling capability.  On June 25, 1965, the 11h Air Refueling Squadron was assigned to the wing.  In 1968, the wing began phasing out it's B-52s.  This was completed by mid year.  On July 2, 1968, the wing was redesignated the 11th Air Refueling Wing.  It was inactivated on March 25, 1969.
Military Airlift Command
In May 1967, the Air Force announced that Altus had been selected as the site for the Military Airlift Command's (MAC) Airlift Training Center, and MAC assumed operational control of the base in July 1968.  Shortly afterward, the 443d Military Airlift Wing, Training, moved to Altus from Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. The wing's mission was to train C-141 and C-5 aircrew members for the Air Force. The first class of C-141 pilots entered ground school training at Altus on 24 March 1969. Flying started on 5 May 1969, and the first group of C-141 student pilots graduated on 24 May 1969.
     During this period, the Air Force expanded the base's facilities to accommodate Lockheed's new C-5 Galaxy. The first C-5A was delivered to Altus AFB on 17 December 1969, and the first C-5B arrived on 8 January 1986. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Altus served as the schoolhouse for MAC's strategic airlift crews, offering courses that included aircraft commander qualification, pilot air refueling qualification, navigator airdrop qualification, and loadmaster airdrop qualification. On 27 August 1991, the 443d Military Airlift Wing was redesignated as an airlift wing. Less than a year later, on 1 June 1992, HQ USAF directed the inactivation of the 443d Airlift Wing and the 340th Air Refueling Wing. Placed at Altus as the host unit was the 97th Air Mobility Wing which Air Mobility Command (AMC) activated on 1 October 1992. At the same time, the 97th picked up the KC-135 aircrew training mission at Castle AFB, California.
     Less than one year later, on 1 July 1993, HQ USAF transferred the 97th Air Mobility Wing from Air Mobility Command to Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and its Nineteenth Air Force. As a result of the change, the operational KC-135 assets at Altus were reassigned to Air Mobility Command's 19th Air Refueling Wing at Robins AFB, Georgia. On 20 January 1994, HQ AETC inactivated the wing's 330th Flying Training Squadron at Castle AFB and activated the 97th Training Squadron at Altus. This was the first move in the overall transfer of the KC-135 training from Castle to Altus. On 28 October 1994, HQ AETC inactivated the 93d Air Refueling Squadron at Castle and activated the 55th Air Refueling Squadron at Altus. The 55th assumed responsibility for training active duty, guard, and reserve KC-135 aircrew members.
     Altus was host to the (tenant) 11th Air Refueling Squadron after the deactivation of the 11th BW / 11 the Strategic Aerospace Wing / & 11th Air Refueling Wing after several years as a Free Standing unit the 340th Air Refueling Group / 340th CAMS was activated.
Following is provided by Terry Horstead.
15 Oct 53 - 18 Nov 53
4037th ABG  Activated with Supporting Units at Altus    
4037th:APS  FSS  Istl S  MVS FMS   USAFI / USAFH*
*4037th USAFH Deactivated 1 March 1959)

18 Nov 53-15 Dec 57
96th Bomb Wing Activated at Altus.  96th ABG Relieves  4037th ABG
96th ABG APS  FSS stl S  MVS/TRS    TH**
96th BW  AEMS FMS PMS* SuppS
337th  BS  338th  BS   339th BS    96th AREFS***
*      96th PMS Inactivated 7 Sept 57
**    96th Tac Hospital Inactivated 8 Sept 57
***  96rh AREFS Inactivated  25 Jun 65

1 Jan 57 - 2 July 68    18th ADS/MMS
13 Dec 57-2 July 68   11th Bomb / Strategic Aerospace/ Air Refueling Wing Relieves 96th BW/CSG
AEMS*    FMS *   PMS/OMS*    SuppS    (18ADS/MMS) 26th BS     42nd BS***   (96th AREFS)  (4037th USAFH****)
11th ABG/CSG  CDS/SPS FSS/SvS Inst S/CES  OpsS**  TrspS   TH
*   OM/FM/AEM Squadrons  Inactivated 25 Mar 69)
** Ops Sq Inactivated 1 Jan 62
***42nd BS transferred to 4043rd SW Wright-Pat on 1 Jun 60
**** redesignated 816th Medical Group
1 July 58 - 1 July 65      816th Air/ Strategic Aerospace Division
1 March 59 - 1 Oct 61      11th Aircraft Support Sq
1 Oct 60 - 15 Dec 60       918th AREFS    921st AREFS
(Both Tanker Squadrons - Inactivated)
1 Jun 61 - 25 March 65     577th SMS
1 Nov 62 - 25 March 65     11th AMMS
25 Jun 65 96th AREFS Redesignated as 11th AREFS 
Assigned 19th AD at Carswell AFB, Texas
1 Aug 73 - 1 Dec 78   11th CAMS
1 July 77 -           340th AREFG    340th CAMS  
Assumes responsibilty for the 11th AREFS
Unknown)   306th AREFS Assigned to 340th AREFG and Activated