Massive-Scale Tanker Flyovers Rejoice one hundredth Anniversary of First Air Refueling

Whereas U.S. Air Drive’s jets and bombers are the nation’s fight-tonight pressure, aerial refueling earlier than and after these forces go into the struggle is usually the important thing to these missions.

On the one hundredth anniversary of the primary aerial refueling mission, the Air Drive sought to focus on the behind-the-scenes efforts of a few of its most important planes with Operation Centennial Contact. Greater than 150 tankers from 26 installations have been concerned in large-scale flyovers throughout the nation.

All 50 states have been initially slated to have flyovers, however climate situations pressured some models to regulate their flight paths and schedules.

Air Mobility Command’s tankers enable sorties to go on at size with restricted interruption—from fighter fight air patrols and intercontinental bomber missions to conserving the E-4B “Doomsday Aircraft” within the skies.

“As we speak’s U.S. Air Drive air refueling capabilities ship unmatched fast world attain for U.S. forces and our Allies and companions all through the globe,” Air Mobility Command stated in a information launch. “Aerial refueling serves as a pressure multiplier, growing the pace, vary, lethality, flexibility, and flexibility of fight plane.”

In accordance with the Air Drive, the primary aerial refueling occurred on June 27, 1923, with aviators from the Military Air Service, the Air Drive’s predecessor.

“On that day, 1st Lt. Virgil Hine and 1st Lt. Frank W. Seifert, flying a DH-4B, handed gasoline by means of a gravity hose to a different DH-4B piloted by Capt. Lowell H. Smith and 1st Lt. John P. Richter, carrying out the primary aerial refueling,” the AMC launch said.

To spotlight what has turned from an experiment into one thing that’s now a “essential functionality” to the Division of Protection’s operations, Air Mobility Command had its fleet of tankers—from the Nineteen Fifties-era KC-135 Stratotankers to KC-10 Extenders and the latest KC-46 Pegasus showcase their mission. The taking part models have been intensive, in line with an AMC spokesperson:

  • 97th Air Mobility Wing (Altus Air Drive Base, Okla)
  • 459th Air Refueling Wing (Joint Base Andrews, Md.)
  • a hundred and first Air Refueling Wing (Bangor Air Nationwide Guard Base, Maine.)
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing (Sumpter Smith Joint Nationwide Guard Base, Birmingham, Ala.)
  • 168th Wing (Eielson Air Drive Base, Alaska)
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing (Fairchild Air Drive Base, Wash.)
  • one hundred and ninetieth Air Refueling Wing (Forbes Air Nationwide Guard Base, Kan.)
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing (Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind.)
  • 154th Air Refueling Wing (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii)
  • a hundred and fifty fifth Air Refueling Wing (Lincoln Air Nationwide Guard Base, Neb.)
  • 189 Air Refueling Wing (Little Rock Air Drive Base, Ark.)
  • sixth Air Refueling Wing (MacDill Air Drive Base, Fla.)
  • 452nd Air Mobility Wing (March Air Reserve Base, Calif.) 
  • twenty second Air Refueling Wing (McConnell Air Drive Base, Kan)
  • 134th Air Refueling Wing (McGhee Tyson Air Nationwide Guard Base, Tenn.)
  • 305 Air Mobility Wing (Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.)
  • sixtieth Air Mobility Wing (Travis Air Drive Base, Texas)
  • 186th Air Refueling Wing (Key Discipline, Miss.)
  • 128 Air Refueling Wing (Basic Mitchell Air Nationwide Guard Base, Wis.)
  • 151th Air Refueling Wing (Roland R. Wright Air Nationwide Guard Base, Utah.)

“Air refueling propels our Nation’s air energy throughout the skies, unleashing its full potential,“ Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Mike Minihan stated in a information launch. “It connects our strategic imaginative and prescient with operational actuality, making certain we will attain any nook of the globe with unwavering pace and precision.”

The Air Drive is hoping to rethink aerial refueling but once more, with a next-generation air refueling system (NGAS) and extra KC-46s changing KC-135s that entered the fleet nearer to that first aerial refueling than at this time. Whereas flying a few of the Air Drive’s growing old refueling plane over the skies of the U.S., the AMC additionally needed to point out why it must plan for the longer term and recapitalize the tanker fleet to “stay related within the present and future safety environments,” the command stated.