New mission for Air National Guard at Will Rogers Base


The Defense Department says there should be no harmful environmental impact as the National Guard proposes to replace the existing mission of planes at the Will Rogers Air National Guard base in Oklahoma City and replace the planes with new close air support aircraft.

The Guard will replace its current fleet of 13 MC-12 aircraft which were transferred from Mississippi to Oklahoma’a 137th Air Wing in 2015.

Called Operation Armed Overwatch, the plan calls for the replacement of the 13 aircraft between Fiscal year 2024 and Fiscal Year 2028. It will include eventual replacement of the 13 planes with up to 28 of the new ground attack and precision strike aircraft.

The MC aircraft based at Will Rogers are basically the military version of the Hawker Beechcraft Super King Air 350ER. The plane is unarmed and its primary function is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Its crew consists of two pilots and two sensor operators.

The existing MC-12 operations are about 19 sorties a day but with the replacement aircraft, they would have up to 35 sorties a day. The Defense Department explained in its environmental report that flying time for the fleet at Will Rogers would increase from 5,500 hours a year to more than 16,000 hours a year and also include a net gain of 150 to 200 personnel.

The new aircraft are basically a modified crop duster chosen a few years ago as America’s newest counterterror plane.



They carry several launch tubes capable of launching laser-GPS guided mini missiles and also carry small glide munitions. Known at the OA-1K Sky Warden, it was developed from the Air Tractor AT-802, a plane used for agricultural spraying

A Department of Defense official said that upon his review of the facts and analyses, the new expanded operations at the Air Base “wll not have a significant environmental impact,either directly or cumulately, in conjunction with other projects at the Air Base.”

The official also said the proposed expansion of aircraft and changes to some of the operations structures will not have any significant impacts to the floodplain.