It isn’t often that you get to witness a circumstance that will undoubtedly impact a community for multiple generations. Last month’s event revealing that Tinker Air Force Base will be able to acquire the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail yard adjacent to the base was one such occasion.
After years of negotiations, all of which were the result of a joint effort between many dedicated individuals from the United States Air Force, the Oklahoma congressional delegation, the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma County, the City of Oklahoma City, the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City and the Chamber, Tinker was able to purchase 158 acres of land that will increase base security and further develop the capabilities of the base.
It’s hard to believe that just 20 years ago, the Chamber was working to see Tinker removed from the Defense Department’s Base Closure and Realignment list. Since that time, the community has rallied around Tinker time and time again, realizing its importance not only to our city but also to the safety of our nation’s troops across the globe.
Tinker is now one of the most efficient bases in the nation, and this land acquisition will bring more than 1,300 new jobs with the maintenance of the KC-46A Pegagus aircraft. The effort to acquire the land also serves to strengthen the robust relationship that Tinker AFB has with Oklahoma City. As Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield is known for saying, “it is a great day to fly in Oklahoma.” And thanks to the cooperative effort to support Tinker through this land acquisition, it will be for a long time.