The 507th Air Refueling Wing is the largest Air Force Reserve flying unit in the state of Oklahoma. The wing reports to Fourth Air Force and supports Air Mobility Command's airlift and air refueling requirements, United States Strategic Command's (USSTRATCOM) national emergency war order requirements, including overseas deployment, in times of peace, war, and national emergency as well as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight inspection requirements. The wing is the host wing for the 137th Air Refueling Wing, Oklahoma Air National Guard and also provides peacetime personnel and support functions for the 513th Air Control Group (ACG), the AFRC's first Airborne Warning and Control Systems organization.
Today, the 507th ARW consists of three subordinate groups, ten squadrons and four flights, and employs approximately 1,140 men and women. Approximately 200 members of the 507th are traditional civilian employees or Air Reserve Technicians (ARTs) who serve as a full-time support cadre. The wing operates and maintains 12 Boeing KC-135R "Stratotanker" aircraft providing world-wide aerial refueling to U.S. Military and NATO aircraft in support of Air Mobility Command and U.S. Strategic Command's national war orders.
During the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure and Total Force Integration process, the 507th ARW was selected to become the first Air Force Reserve unit to serve as a host wing for an associate Air National Guard wing. Aircrew and maintenance members from Oklahoma's 137th Wing transitioned from C-130 aircraft and are currently serving as equal partners with the 507th.
Under the associate wing concept, the Air Force Reserve and 507th ARW retain operational control of the assigned 12 KC-135R aircraft while the members of the 137th ARW help fly and maintain those aircraft. This Guard/Reserve Associate Wing experiment ended after ten years when the 137 ARW flew their last KC135R flight with the 507th in July 2015 as they began converting to the MC12W Liberty ISR (Intelligence - Surveilance - Reconnaissance) aircraft operating out of their old home at Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The 507th ARW is also one of the more diverse Air Force Reserve units in existence. Wing full- and part-time reservists fly the Bombardier "Challenger 601" aircraft in concert with active duty and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspecting and certifying military NAVAIDS around the world. The wing's newest unit is a rapid deployment, combat communications squadron, one of only two in the Air Force Reserve Command. The 507th also serves as the support backbone for the 513th Air Control Group, the Air Force Reserve's only associate E-3 Sentry Airborne and Warning Control System. Expeditionary medical support rounds out the wing to make it one of the Reserve Command's most valuable assets.
The wing's location at Tinker AFB has created a strong working relationship with the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Depot, the Air Force's primary C-135 maintenance facility. The 507th routinely supports depot requests involving modification projects aimed at producing future upgrades to the Air Force's tanker fleet.
The 507th was activated at Tinker Air Force Base in 1972 as the 507th Fighter Group, flying the F-105D "Thunderchief." In 1980, the unit converted to the F-4D "Phantom" and then to the F-16A "Falcon" in 1990.
In 1994, the 507th converted to its current KC-135R "Stratotanker" aerial refueling mission. In 1995, the 507th was a driving force in the creation and activation of the 513th Air Control Group (ACG), an Air Force Reserve Airborne Warning and Control Systems associate unit at Tinker AFB.
In 1997 the 513th ACG became a direct reporting unit to the Air Force Reserve's Tenth Air Force and Air Combat Command with the 507th continuing to provide peacetime personnel and support functions for that organization. The wing's major subordinate units are described below.
The 507th Operations Group
The 507th Operations Group (507th OG) has a lean staff consisting of the commander, immediate staff, Intelligence, and standardization-evaluation functions. The group commander oversees three subordinate units: 465th Air Refueling Squadron, 507th Operations Support Flight and the 1st Aviation Standards Flight.
The 465th Air Refueling Squadron (465th ARS) is one of two flying organizations in the 507th OG, incorporating pilots and traditional operations functions. The squadron operates 12 Boeing KC-135R aircraft from Tinker Air Force Base. Reservists, both pilots and boom operators, fly and maintain worldwide mission ready status and regularly deploy in support of contingency operations.
The 507th Operations Support Flight (507th OSF) incorporates traditional operations support functions such as Aircrew Flight Equipment, Combat Crew Communications, Operations Plans and flight records maintenance.
The 1st Aviation Standards Flight (1st ASF) represents a unique mission for the 507th Operations Group and the Air Force Reserve. This unit, working in tandem with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), performs flight inspections of navigational-aid radar and instrument procedures at military and civilian installations in the United States and overseas. The flight operates from Will Rogers International World Airport, Oklahoma City, and augments the Air Force Flight Standards Agency Detachment 1, the on-site active duty unit. The 1st ASF consists of approximately 23 people and is attached to the 507th ARW for administrative support. They fly and help maintain the FAA's Bombardier "Challenger 601".
The 507th Maintenance Group
The 507th Maintenance Group brings all maintenance support activities under a single commander. The group staff is small, consisting primarily of quality assurance personnel supporting intermediate level maintenance. The Maintenance Group consists of two squadrons and one flight: 507th Maintenance and Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons, and Maintenance Operations Flight. The group also serves as a host for an associate Air National Guard associate maintenance group.
The 507th Maintenance Squadron is responsible for periodic inspections, fabrication repairs, propulsion, air refueling boom maintenance, aircraft fuel systems, and aerospace ground equipment.
The 507th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is responsible for directing all organizational level maintenance and generation of aircraft.
The 507th Maintenance Operations Flight consolidates and incorporates all other traditional maintenance staff supervisory functions such as aircraft records and maintenance reporting, personnel support, and military training.
The 507th Mission Support Group
The Mission Support Group commander oversees five squadrons and three flights: 507th Security Forces, Civil Engineer, Logistic Readiness, 35th Combat Communications, 507th Force Support, and 72nd Aerial Port Squadrons and the Communications Flight.
The 507th Security Forces Squadron is tasked to provide air base ground defense and to protect weapon systems and support personnel. The squadron's Combat Arms Training Section trains wing personnel in the use of small arms.
The 507th Civil Engineer Squadron trains and equips engineering teams for worldwide combat support. The squadron's personnel can perform rapid runway repair, structural bomb damage repair, fire fighting, and crash rescue.
The 507th Logistic Readiness Squadron carries out all other logistics staff functions, including those pertaining to transportation, supply, contracting, fuels, maintenance training, and plans.
The 35th Combat Communications Squadron reports to Space Command when activated. Squadron members can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world to set up, from scratch, a Theater Air Base to include satellite communications, telephone switching bands, and base computer networks. They can perform setup, operation, and maintenance of voice and data communications systems essential to wing operations to include all manner of radio, telephones, teletype, and computer systems.
The 72nd Aerial Port Squadron personnel load, unload, and process airfreight arriving from and departing to locations worldwide.
The 507th Force Support Squadron provides personnel management and services support such as lodging, fitness, protocol, food, recreation and mortuary affairs, to the entire 507th ARW and the 513th ACG.
The 507th Communications Flight is a consolidation of the Wing's Knowledge Operations, unit telecommunications, radio systems, and small computer support (software installation and trouble shooting) functions into one organization.
507th Medical Squadron
The 507th ARW has its own medical squadron which monitors the medical, dental and mental health of all the members of the 507th as well as the personnel of the 513th ACG. Maintaining processes and records for annual physical and dental assessments, currency in immunizations and monitoring occupational environments are a major focus. Other program responsibilities include training initial first aid care, CPR, mask fit testing, and heightening awareness of suicide and its prevention. The medical squadron is based at and integrate with the staff at the Tinker Base Hospital and if mobilized are trained to support a fixed site or mobile field hospital.