The State Senate presented a resolution Thursday morning commemorating the 75th anniversary of Tinker Air Force Base. The resolution was presented by Sen. Jack Fry to Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy, Air Force Sustainment Center Commander at Tinker Air Force Base and the senior ranking military member in the state.
Lt. Gen. Levy addressed Senate members and those in the gallery following the presentation of the resolution, noting the importance of steadfast community support in the continued success of Tinker and reiterating the importance of STEM education and how future graduates will impact the future of aerospace in Oklahoma.
“Tomorrow’s Air Force will require men and women with science, technology, engineering and math training. It’s just that simple,” Levy said. “The Air Force is transitioning from the iron age to the information age. The ability of Oklahoma to generate STEM-educated men and women will be the key to winning future battles for our country.”
Levy continued by noting an increase in STEM graduates will be essential to keep Tinker thriving and surviving in the future.
“I could hire every single four-year engineering graduate the state of Oklahoma produces and I would still have empty seats,” Levy said. “I would like to make the aerospace industry so powerful both economically and intellectually that Oklahoma becomes the center of gravity for aerospace for the nation. There is no reason Oklahoma can’t be the premier place for aerospace industries to live and work.”
Sen. Fry, who represents Midwest City where Tinker Air Force Base is located, said he was honored to present the Resolution to Lt. Gen Levy and the others who were present.
“It was a special opportunity for the members of the Senate to join Tinker Air Force Base and Lt. General Levy in recognizing the diamond anniversary,” Fry said. “As Oklahoma’s largest single-site employer, Tinker provides jobs for approximately 30,000 military and civilian personnel, which also creates thousands of additional indirect jobs throughout the state. Today we were honored to join them in celebrating many years of outstanding community partnership and I commend the great men and women of Tinker Air Force for their contributions over the years to our state and nation.”
Tinker was officially activated on March 1, 1942 as Oklahoma City Air Depot, and was named Tinker Field in memory of Oklahoma native, Major Clarence L. Tinker later that same year. Today, the Air Force Sustainment Center is located at Tinker Air Force Base and generates millions of dollars in contracts with small businesses in Oklahoma. Tinker is also home to the 507th Air Reserve Wing, the 552nd Air Control Wing (AWACS) and the U.S. Navy Strategic Communications Wing One.