Depot Celebration, Oklahoma Style

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley attended a ceremony at Tinker AFB, Okla., on Oct 23 to mark last month’s lease agreement to establish a new aerospace complex for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at an abandoned General Motors Plant. Other service officials and state and local Oklahoma dignitaries also attended the event. Central Oklahoma’s OKCBusiness reported Oct. 23 that under the lease, first announced Sept. 24, the service will pay just $1 per year to Oklahoma County for the rights to use the 407 acres of former GM land, which includes 3.8 million gross square feet of real property, of which 3.5 million square feet is industrial and administrative space. The service plans to move some of the ALC operations from their current substandard buildings into better facilities at the former auto plant. And, the extra space on the new land will allow Tinker, already the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma, to compete for new Air Force depot work, such as on the new KC-X aerial tanker, when that comes along. “By moving the operations of 21 buildings into the new Tinker Aerospace Complex, Tinker Air Force Base will save approximate $2.6 million annually in energy costs and approximately $300 million in military construction costs when the moves are complete,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) in an Oct. 23 release. He was instrumental in the lease and spoke at the ceremony. The State of Oklahoma and Oklahoma County purchased the land from GM through a bond election in May. (Tinker report by Brandice Armstrong)