Commander at Altus Air Force Base headed to Turkey

Monday, October 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ALTUS, Okla. (AP) _ Brig. Gen. Quentin L. Peterson, commander of the 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base for the past 16 months, has been reassigned to Turkey where he will serve as the nation's senior military representative.

Peterson, who will relinquish command on Tuesday to Col. Mark R. Zamzow, will be chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation for Turkey. As the senior military representative in Turkey, he will be a member of the Ambassador's Country Team at the American embassy.

Peterson said he is proud of the base's accomplishments during his tenure and said awards won by individuals and units at the Air Force and Air Education and Training Command level ``demonstrate a great job, how professional people perform every day not just doing their jobs, but going well above and beyond what the job requires.''

The general also complimented the community for what he called ``outstanding cooperation and support.''

``The community works very hard with us to make sure we do the best we can to continue the training operation and ensure its success,'' Peterson said. ``At the same time, we work very hard to respect the needs of the community in which we live and work.''

Peterson said he is particularly proud of the way the base worked together to stand down the 57th Airlift Squadron and retire the C-141, a process he described as ``difficult and sad.''

``We watched a mission that had been at Altus for some 32 years go away,'' he said.

``While it was bittersweet, I couldn't have been prouder of the way our wing stood up and greeted the many former members of that unit at the ceremony, including the previous leadership and general officers, both retired and active duty who had been stationed at Altus,'' he said.

The Altus base was one of many across the nation that has responded to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on Washington, D.C., and New York City.

``We deployed 13 medical folks to give support, and although they were not used, they were prepared and ready when they were sent out,'' Peterson said.

The commander added the wing had both airlift and air refueling crews that also supported the disaster.

``We're prepared to do our job, and we continue to do that today,'' he said.