Tinker Air Force Base launches Tinker Mayors Group to enhance local partnership

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Kaseyann Cornwall

The Tinker Air Force Base Mayors Group's inaugural meeting was held April 30 with a luncheon at the Vanwey Dining Facility.

The program is designed to foster mutual understanding and support, enhancing the effectiveness of the base's mission while integrating community insights. At the event, Col. Abby Ruscetta, 72nd Air Base Wing and Installation Commander, underscored the initiative's importance for strategic local engagement and continuous dialogue on base operations.

"This group will be a forum for informed advocates, connecting you with our base leadership and fostering collaboration," said Ruscetta. “We all face similar issues and I hope we can learn creative solutions from each other.”

A few of the visiting mayors shared their feedback on their time at Tinker.

"First off, kudos for the visit. It was well thought out, as was the format for the State of Tinker,” said Matt Dukes, Mayor of Midwest City. “It was very helpful.  Although I am very familiar with the mission and operations of the base, it was a good and eye-opening experience for most of the other Mayors."

“It was an honor to tour Tinker. It gave me a new perspective of how the different service branches work closely together to ensure our country’s safety,” said Randall McFarlin, Mayor of the City of Ada. “As the largest single site employer in Oklahoma, Tinker has an economic impact throughout our great state, including my city of Ada. We have several residents that commute daily to Tinker, providing good, quality jobs for our community.”

The Tinker Mayors Group aims to connect the base more closely with city mayors through regular meetings and collaborative events. The group will meet twice annually, focusing on pivotal issues that can be solved through base, community, and city teaming. The first event featured a brief introduction by Col. Ruscetta, followed by a comprehensive windshield tour of the base facilities.