TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. (AFNS) —
Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones recently visited Tinker Air Force Base to meet with Airmen and learn more about the missions they support.
During the visit, Jones traveled to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, which is the largest maintenance depot within the Air Force Materiel Command and supports various aircraft and engine workloads.
Jones toured the F-135 engine repair line operation, which showcased innovative process improvements that have reduced engine maintenance times by half.
“Visiting the F-135 engine repair line today was a wonderful opportunity to recognize the hard work of the Oklahoma City Air Logistic Complex and its partners,” Jones said. “They have had to pioneer new processes and overcome unforeseen challenges while still supporting the high-priority, critical operational needs of the warfighter.”
During her stop at the 552nd Air Control Wing, she was provided a mission brief and static display tour of the E-3 Sentry, an airborne warning and control system aircraft. The E-3 crew on-hand also flew the historic first Pride flight, with most of the crew being members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“We need talent as diverse as the challenges and opportunities that we face as a country,” Jones said. “I am proud to highlight this historic flight, a powerful demonstration of the DAF’s commitment to an inclusive and mission ready force.”
During her time with the 552nd, Jones spoke briefly about the department’s transition from the E-3 to the E-7 Wedgetail.
“The E-3 has served our Air Force, our country, and our allies well since it was brought into service in 1977,” she said. “However, the pacing challenge demands a more capable platform, and we are excited about bringing on the E-7.”
Jones also visited one of the three child development centers on the installation. These facilities provide daily care of children from infants up to preschool age. It is the oldest CDC, having been built on a flood plain in 1974, with 2 renovations and additions over the years. Funding for this type of support infrastructure has been a historical struggle across the Air Force.
“CDC West exemplifies facilities and staff across the department that support Airmen and Guardians and allows them to generate the mission and project combat power without worrying if their loved ones are cared for,” Jones said.
Jones made it a top priority while at Tinker AFB to connect with victim support service providers. She spoke with representatives from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response coordinator; domestic abuse victim advocacy; Office of Special Investigations; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Office; mental health; the community support coordinator; first sergeants; commanders; and others who work in victim advocacy. The working lunch was an open dialogue to hear directly from leaders and support providers about their work and way to improve overall support to victims.
Jones directed the Department of the Air Force to establish a pilot program to co-locate support services for victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence and other harms across the spectrum of inter-personal violence. Tinker AFB will serve as a control base as the pilot effort continues.
Jones spoke with Airmen about how diversity and inclusion makes us a more mission ready and lethal force.
“If you have the courage to raise your right hand to support and defend the Constitution, as leaders, it’s our job to ensure you can do so to your full potential,” Jones said.