ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Soldiers with the 3-2 Air Defense Artillery Battalion, Fort Sill, line up for breakfast at the deployment center on Saturday. The Altus Military Affairs Committee and community members donated food and drinks for deploying soldiers as a way to show their appreciation. Shown in the back is Barbara Burleson, Altus Military Affairs Committee member.
1/7/2013 - ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Altus AFB and the surrounding community share an invaluable relationship that strives to honor service members, their families, and local business and civic leaders.
The Altus Military Affairs Committee and City of Altus community donated food and drinks to Fort Sill Soldiers deploying out of Altus AFB, Jan. 5, 2012.
“We hope we show our appreciation for our Airmen every day through activities such as Committee of 100 dinners, but it’s not often that we get to say thanks to Soldiers who are deploying,” said Dr. Joe Leverett, Chairman of the Altus MAC. “We didn’t know exactly what the deployment entailed; we just knew that soldiers were leaving out of the base so we decided to provide some snacks and drinks to make their stay a little more comfortable before they left.”
The 97th Air Mobility Wing, the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade out of Fort Sill, Okla., and various units from Air Mobility Command joined forces to deploy Patriot missile batteries in support of NATO efforts to augment Turkey’s self-defense capabilities.
The deployment followed U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta’s Dec. 14, 2012 order to deploy the batteries to de-escalate the situation along the Turkey-Syrian border, while demonstrating Alliance solidarity and resolve.
“Altus Air Force Base and Fort Sill have always had a great partnership; it’s good to see the effort between them to help defend the freedom of others,” said Nub Smith, Co-Vice Chairman of the Altus MAC. “The MAC members are happy to furnish what we can to make the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s stay more pleasurable—it’s our honor to serve them in whatever way we can.”
The deploying soldiers waited at the base passenger terminal before boarding aircraft to make their way to Turkey.
“We’ve been here since early this morning, and it’s great that our Soldiers were able to get some breakfast which was donated from the [Altus] community,” said Army 1st. Sgt. Leroy Barnett, member of the 3-2 ADA. “It just goes to show the community’s concern for our Soldiers’ well-being and we appreciate that a lot.”
This was just another way for the community to express their appreciation for the military, Smith said.