Maj. Joshua Chambers
Chief Tactics and Plans, Assistant Director of Operations, 912 ARS
Hometown: Oneonta, NY
0200 Snooze, 0209 snooze, 0218 … I guess it’s time to give in and get up. Happy Sunday!
0336 Crew show, the buildings are way too dark and quiet.
0405 Spoke to the receiver point of contact and they have a rendezvous time of 1:45 minutes later than planned. That doesn’t sound right?!? Now, have to notify Tanker Airlift Control Center and command post of the change. Wait, let me make another call.
0411 Called the receiver pilots — the original time is correct, so we’re back on original timing.
0502 Planning all done, now time to step to the aircraft. And, it’s still dark outside. Off to base ops for an updated weather check and flight publications.
0520 All these aircraft to choose from — I’ll take the one maintenance just called crew-ready on — 140,000 lbs of jet fuel should suffice. Nice pick!
0700 Lift off — supervising first pilot Lt. Hanson on a heavy-weight takeoff. Great job!
0705 Wait, command post is calling. Refueling slipped one hour and our wingman is broke — expected delay of 15 to 30 minutes.
0816 Command post calling again with updates: We will get one receiver with a 40-minute slip. Still no word on our wingman.
0910 Rendezvous reached — two aircraft, over the same spot, at the same time, from different parts of the U.S. — amazing!
0944 Connect, refuel, and disconnect — made two contacts with a receiver, offloaded 82,500 lbs of fuel (12,368 gallons). Flying isn’t cheap, but the global reach capability is awesome!
1012 Just heard our wingman setting up for refueling with the other receiver at 1025. That would have been about a 2 hour delay, I’m glad we took off on-time!
1125 Mission complete, nothing broke, receiver is on its way to somewhere overseas. Return to base, debrief maintenance and all done by 1142.
1159 Post mission paperwork and debrief are complete. Talked with Lt Hanson about big offloads, managing time slips, and fuel panel management. Something learned on every flight.