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Vice chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff views Tinker capabilities

  • Published
  • By Greg L. Davis
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Tinker Air Force Base April 1 to learn more about the missions of the Air Force Sustainment Center and the contributions of associate units toward the nation's strategic nuclear deterrence.

Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II, the AFSC commander, briefed Gen. Paul J. Selva, the vice chairman of the JCS, on the center's role in maintaining Air Force aircraft, engines and weapon systems. He also explained how his team is integral to sustaining the nuclear enterprise mission. Selva’s wife, Ricki, began a separate tour of Tinker's resiliency programs, supporting military members and their families, while Selva reviewed key elements of Tinker's massive maintenance complex.

Selva saw the KC-135 Stratotanker and B-52H Stratofortress in various states of maintenance, repair and overhaul. He was updated on some of the specific challenges the AFSC and Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex face in maintaining aging aircraft fleets. He also was shown why the KC-135 are subjected to longer stays in the facility due to age and how advanced diagnostic techniques are finding potential problems sooner. Earlier detection of problems adds repair time, but is critical to ensuring the overall safety and longevity of the fleet.

This stop on the tour highlighted how the OC-ALC supports the nation's strategic nuclear deterrence through the programmed depot maintenance of Air Force bombers, tankers, commodities and engines. The complex also has an emerging mission developing aviation software.

The tour then moved to see an industrial and planned military construction site that will add increased production capacity in the form of the KC-46A Pegasus tanker maintenance and support complex.

Strategic Communications Wing One, a Navy unit operating E-6B Mercury and based at Tinker AFB, was also visited by Selva. E-6Bs provide critical communication links from national command authorities to the nuclear-capable submarine fleet, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, and nuclear-capable aircraft that make up the nuclear triad during wartime. Selva was given an in-depth tour of the aircraft itself while meeting with aircrew members and wing leadership.

Selva's visit wrapped up as he thanked Tinker AFB leadership for the tour and information before preparing to be the guest speaker at a base's dining out.