Tinker Air Force Base welcomes new commander for Sustainment Center

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - If there's an Air Force plane in the sky, there's a good chance at least part of that plane has been worked on at the Air Force Sustainment Center, headquartered at Tinker Air Force Base.

"We generate combat power because without the Air Force Sustainment Center, the Air Force mission couldn't be successful,” Executive Director Kevin Stamey said.

The Oklahoma center specializes in engine repair on military planes, but they do so much more.

"We like to say we are the engine of readiness for the Air Force, meaning we actually do the maintenance and repair and overhaul. We're also the global logistics supplier for the entire Air Force,” Stamey said.

Any KC-135, B-1, B-52, AWACS and Navy E-3 plane will mostly come through here to get repaired, which means the parts have to be readily available.

"It's our job to make sure we know the part is broken, the shelf is empty. In fact, it's our job to know it's going to break before it breaks,” Stamey said.

On Tuesday, the center got a new commander.

Lt. General Donald Kirkland will take over for Lt. General Lee Levy to oversee operations. He becomes only the third commander for this billion-dollar command.

The Air Force Sustainment Center also has employees at air bases in Illinois, Utah and Georgia, but a majority of the work is done here in Oklahoma.