OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma leaders along with those at Tinker Air Force Base are celebrating a new addition in OKC that promises innovation and jobs.

A new Boeing facility will be home to efforts to modernize the B-52.

“Our Boeing team around the world is honored to be a part of this community and support the jobs and opportunities right here in Oklahoma,” said President and Chief Executive Officer, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, Ted Colbert.

“The people of Oklahoma City are intensely proud of their role in the nation’s defense,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. 

A buzz filled the new 60,000-square-foot Boeing facility in Oklahoma City on Friday morning.

Dignitaries, leaders and veterans – all honoring 70 years since the first flight of the B-52 as well as the future of the aircraft.

“This facility will play a key role in the B-52 modernization efforts,” Colbert said. 

Damage Inc. II B-52
Damage Inc. II B-52

The B-52 that made a famous trip from Arizona to OKC is now prepared to serve its new purpose as a test prototype for modernizing the bombers.

“She’s done her service and she’s been asked to serve again and she’s going to really advance the future modernization effort,” said Brig. Gen. John Newberry. 

Holt says 3,600 people are employed by Boeing already in Oklahoma City.

“This is another commitment,” Holt said. “You know, this is a what is a $20 million facility. I mean we recognize the size, the scale of the investment.”

“Oklahoma has a legacy of aerospace innovation and success dating back more than 100 years Second largest industry in the state of Oklahoma today is our aerospace industry employing more than 120,000 Oklahomans,” said Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell. 

Pinnell says the industry has an economic impact of over $44 billion per year.

State and local leaders say the industry isn’t done growing.

“As many of you know, we are even working now with Tinker Air Force Base to expand to the east and we want to continue to support Tinker Air Force Base because we are so patriotic,” Holt said. “We love this country and we want to be partners with you in defending it.”

Those who want to apply can visit Boeing’s website.