Oklahoma Air National Guard receives MC-12W recon aircraft

The first MC-12 Liberty aircraft in-theater lands after its first combat sortie at approximately 6:20 p.m. local time June 10 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The Air Force's newest intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform, the MC-12 is a medium-altitude manned special-mission turbo prop aircraft that supports coalition and joint ground forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tiffany Trojca)

WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. — The first of 13 MC-12W aircraft was delivered to the 137th Air Refueling Wing (ARW), Will Rogers Air National Guard Base (WRANGB), Oklahoma City, July 10. The arrival of the MC-12 marks the return of flying operations to WRANGB for the first time since 2007.

“The 137th Air Refueling Wing is very excited to return flying operations back to Will Rogers Air National Guard Base and join Air Force Special Operations Command,” said Air Force Col. Devin R. Wooden, 137th ARW commander. “Our last eight years at Tinker Air Force Base and our partnership with the 507th Air Refueling Wing is a honored part of our great history. We proudly flew off of this ramp for 58 years before we left for Tinker and to be a part of the team to bring flying operations back is very satisfying. I feel like everyone is back home.”

As part of the first Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve partnership, the 137th ARW has been functioning as a geographically separated base with KC-135 Stratotanker flight operations at Tinker Air Force Base and support operations at WRANGB. This partnership was the result of the last major Base Relocation and Closure commission that threatened the 137th with permanent closure.

The basing of the MC-12 is a significant moment for the 137th ARW as they transition to an Air Force Special Operations Wing. As a part of Air Force Special Operations Command, the wing will provide highly-trained Air Commandos to execute global special operations.

The 137th ARW received the MC-12 based on its manpower, facilities, existing command structure and strong relationships with local community leaders. The geographical location of the 137th provides a highly conducive flying environment and appropriate training facilities.

 The MC-12 is a medium-to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support directly to ground forces serving overseas.