Home of the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma is located about four miles from the city of Altus. The base has multiple missions including operation of the Strategic Airlift and Air Refueling Training School for KC-46 Pegasus, C-17 Globemaster III, and KC-135 Stratotanker crews.
Find information about including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and inprocessing.
Mission & Units
Altus hosts the 97th Air Mobility Wing, which operates four missions including airlift and refueling training, and producing “the finest combat-ready aircrew members.”
Altus AFB has more than 500 troops or “mobility positions” available “for immediate worldwide deployment.” Altus is also a “wartime aerial port” for nearly 30,000 troops, gear, and more from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, roughly 50 miles from the Air Force base.
Major missions and units at Altus AFB include:
- 54 Air Refueling Squadron
- 58 Airlift Squadron
- 730 Air Mobility Training Squadron (Reserves)
- 97 Air Mobility Wing
- 97 Aircraft Division (AMW/MXA)
- 97 Civil Engineering Squadron
- 97 Communications Squadron
- 97 Contracting Squadron
- 97 Force Support Squadron
- 97 Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 97 Maintenance Directorate (AMW/MX)
- 97 Maintenance Directorate (civil service)
- 97 Maintenance Division (AMW/MXM)
- 97 Maintenance Operations Division (AMW/MXO)
- 97 Medical Group
- 97 Medical Operations Squadron
- 97 Medical Support Squadron
- 97 Mission Support Group
- 97 Operations Group
- 97 Operations Support Squadron
- 97 Security Forces Squadron
- 97 Training Squadron 97TRS
The base got its start when ground was broken in 1942 to build Altus Army Air Field (AAF). Operational in 1943, Altus trained American pilots with orders to serve in the European theater. The Army only used the site for pilot training for about two years, and the site was inactive until 1953 when the U.S. Air Force activated the site as Altus Air Force Base.
Altus AFB began its run as a Tactical Air Command (TAC) base, then Strategic Air Command (SAC) took over, running takers, bombers, and ICBM sites until 1968 when Altus was placed under the control of Military Airlift Command (MAC). This switch brought C-5 cargo jets to the base; Altus became a training site for C-5 and C-141 aircraft.
This would be the job of the 443rd Military Airlift Wing, which trained crews at the base until 1992 when the 443rd was deactivated and replaced by the 97th Air Mobility Wing. The C-5 would eventually fly into history, reassigned to the Air Force Reserve. For active duty missions, the C-5 was replaced by other aircraft such as the C-17; Altus trains crews in C-17 operations today.
It wouldn’t be long until Altus switched hands once more, becoming an Air Education And Training Command base in 1993, which brought with it a new training mission; the KC-135 Combat Crew Training School. In the 21st century, Altus still supports the 97th Wing’s main mission to train airlift crews and air refueling crews. Altus has also supported Operations Northern Watch, Desert Storm, Desert Fox, Allied Force, Joint Guard, Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle And Iraqi Freedom.
Main Base Address and Phone Numbers
Falcon Road and N. Veterans Drive
Altus AFB, OK 73523-5000
- DSN 312-866-6761
Important Altus AFB Phone Numbers
- Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (580) 481-7036
- Base Operator (580) 482-8100
- Emergency 911
- Family Advocacy Program (580) 481-5376
- Hospital/Medical Treatment Facility (580) 481-5235
- Finance Office (580) 481-6944
- Legal Services/JAG (580) 481-7294
- Victim Advocate Services (580) 481-5376
- Altus Outpatient Clinic (580) 482-9020
- Health Benefits Advisory (580) 481-5666
- Hospital/Medical Treatment Facility (580) 481-5235
- Balfour Beatty Communities Management Office (580) 379-4002
- Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (580) 481-7036
- Housing Office/Government Housing (580) 481-7235
- Temporary Lodging/Billeting (580) 482-7356
- ID/CAC Card Processing (580) 481-6770
- Information and Referral Services (580) 481-6761
- Personnel Support Office (580) 481-6781
- Child Development Center (580) 481-7502
- School Age Care (580) 481-7903
- School Liaison Officer (580) 481-6761
- Household Goods/Transportation Office (inbound) (580) 481-6829
- Household Goods/Transportation Office (outbound) (580) 481-6830
- Relocation Assistance Program (580) 481-6761
- Transition Assistance Program (580) 481-6761
- Travel Office (580) 481-6466
Altus AFB is roughly 230 miles from Oklahoma City, with Vance AFB only another 65 miles away if you keep going north from OKC. Oklahoma City features NBA pro sports (the Oklahoma City Thunder) and professional horse racing at Remington Park.
Closer to Altus, the Museum of the Western Prairie is a local attraction that is of interest to those fascinated by early Americana, cowboys, and local indigenous cultures.
The Heritage Park Theatre is billed as the “only one in town,” but gets good reviews from travel sites. Altus is located near the following cities, which are roughly 110 miles away or closer:
- Vernon, TX.
- Lawton, OK.
- Elk City, OK.
- Burkburnett, TX.
- Clinton, OK.
- Weatherford, OK.
- Wichita Falls, TX.
Major domestic and international airports nearby include:
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (213 miles)
- Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport (55 miles)
- Wichita Falls Municipal Airport (94 miles)
- Will Rogers World Airport (132 miles)
Inprocessing and Check-In
Those PCSing to Altus AFB are directed to contact their gaining unit for instructions to report once you have arrived in the local area. All inprocessing appointments are scheduled through your gaining unit’s orderly room. If you arrive after normal duty hours, report to the Altus Billeting Office.
Students coming to Altus AFB on TDY orders are directed to coordinate their arrival with the class organizers or schoolhouse; students are expected to arrive at Altus no earlier than one day prior to the official start date of classes.
There is one exception to this rule: Non-prior service members should travel and arrive no later than THREE duty days prior to class start date, schedules permitting.
Basic medical services are provided by the 97th Medical Group; all emergencies should be handled by calling 9/11. This facility provides outpatient care with the following clinics available:
- Aerospace Medicine
- Family Health
- Mental Health/Family Advocacy
- Health and Wellness Center
- Laboratory Services
Altus provides a Dental Clinic, with a “full line” of general dentistry services for active duty military members.
The Altus AFB Child Development Center provides care for those assigned to the base; services are offered to children six weeks to 5 years of age. The Child Development Center (CDC) is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and certified by the Department of Defense.
According to the official site, “Active duty military (single parent, dual military) and DoD civilians assigned to Altus AFB whose spouse works full-time or go to school full-time” are given priority treatment for full-time care and drop-in hourly care.
Reservations are required for hourly care and such care is provided on a space available basis only. Waiting lists may apply, contact the Altus CDC for more information on requirements, waiting list times, and more.
All inbound airmen PCSing to Altus are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also get local assistance from the Altus TMO office at (580) 481-6829.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
All ID card services should be scheduled using the RAPIDS site or by calling the Altus Pass & ID office at 580-481-6340.
The Altus Air Force Base installation is within the Altus School District, but parents should know there are 14 other school districts within 35 miles of the base. There are many school district options open to parents PCSing here; it’s best to call the Altus School Liaison Officer to discuss specific needs for transfer, school choices, etc.
You will need to have shot records, grade transcripts, evidence of a recent physical (depending on current state law and public school transfer policies) and related documents (including IEPs for students who have them). Call the Altus School Liaison Office at (580) 481-6761.
In general, Altus Public Schools include preschool–preschoolers must be 4 years old on or before September 1st of the current school year. Kindergarten students must be 5 years old on September 1st (or before) of the current school year.
Housing at Altus is privatized and operated by Balfour Beatty Properties. All inbound PCSing troops are directed to the Air Force Housing website to find your new home at Altus AFB. On base housing is available for married, accompanied military members; there are more than five hundred “modern brick homes” and you should apply in advance once you have orders.
Single and unaccompanied service members between the ranks of E1 through E4 are eligible to be placed on a waiting list for on-base dorms. The waiting list is ordered based on rank and date of sign-up.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Those traveling on orders to Altus AFB are encouraged to make reservations for Temporary Lodging as early as possible, especially during PCS and TDY season. You can do so by calling 580-481-7356, or DSN 312-866-7356.
You may be authorized up to ten days of reimbursement for TLE stays while traveling on orders, but be advised, the official site warns, “if you stay in quarters prior to your arrival here, this will count towards your ten days TLE reimbursement.” Limited pet-friendly accommodations may be available. It is best to call first as space is not always available for pets, who must be then boarded in the community.
All new arrivals should coordinate their travel to Altus AFB with the gaining unit or sponsor. Depending on which airport you arrive at when entering the local area, you may need to arrange a pickup.
Travel distances may be greater due to the wide-open nature of Oklahoma. More driving is required here than in more densely populated areas. Coordinate your arrival with your sponsor or gaining unit as far in advance as possible.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
All motor vehicles operating on Altus AFB must include all required safety equipment, proof of insurance, etc. You may have to register your vehicle at Pass & ID depending on current base regulations and threat condition levels. You will also need to check with Pass & ID regarding the current state of enforcement for REAL ID Act drivers’ licenses and other identification.
Not all military bases enforce vehicle registration and base access procedures in the same way and most policies are subject to review. Call first for best results.