Air Force

June 7, 2013

336 ARS fuel progress

Tags:
Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen
4th Combat Camera Squadron

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters from the 58th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla., fly off the coast of Fort Walton Beach, as they line up to receive fuel from a March Air Reserve Base KC-135 Stratotanker, May 16. The March crew helped instructor pilots become fully qualified in real-time aerial refueling, which allows them to replace simulator training with the real thing in future classes.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Flying high above the bluish-green waters of Florida’s northwestern emerald coast, a March Air Reserve Base KC-135R Stratotanker, orbited and awaited its next customers — a pair of F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft.

Representing the 336th Aerial Refueling Squadron, 452d Air Mobility Wing, callsign: RATS 91, Team March aircrew members Lt. Col. Jeff Richenberger, pilot; 1st Lt. Kevin Elardo, copilot; and Tech. Sgt. Joe Parker, boom operator, flew in a series of aerial refueling training engagements with the initial cadre of F-35A Lightening II instructor pilots assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, May 12 to 18, 2013.

“The most rewarding part of participating in a mission like this is knowing that I am an active participant in the Air Force’s direct future,” said Parker. “This mission is a great representation of the tankers vital role, as it relates to air superiority.”

Observing from the boom operator’s pod in the rear of the aircraft, Parker skillfully identified a couple of specks in the distance, as a pair of fast-approaching, F-35 fighters. As accomplished many times in the past, Parker readied the boom and provided approach vectors to the incoming aircraft. He communicated with the fighter pilots and carefully guided their aircraft in for a precision contact and offload. Approximately 14 aerial refueling training sorties were flown during the week-long training phase.

“This was the easiest tanking event I have had in my career,” said Col. Andrew Toth, commander, 33rd Fighter Squadron. “The aircraft is very stable and smooth, making it easier than other weapons systems to connect with the boom.”

The 33rd FW is a joint graduate flying and maintenance training wing that trains Air Force, Marine, Navy and international partner operators and maintainers of the F-35 Lightning II. The crew of RATS 91 provided 33rd FW instructor pilots with the opportunity to train and qualify in real-time aerial refueling events, where as previously, the training was accomplished in the simulator. Fully qualified instructor pilots can now incorporate refueling training into future student-pilot classes, further enhancing mission capabilities.

“This mission was not necessarily any different or more challenging than others I have flown,” said Richenberger. “But, it’s not often you get to support initial test and evaluation of a new weapons system which will enhance the nations security, and that is rewarding.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
HHM_14_Poster

Hispanic Heritage Month: Knowing the facts

In 1988, Congress established National Hispanic Heritage Month by amending the 1968 law that created National Hispanic Heritage Week. Under this law, the president was asked to issue an annual proclamation designating the “31...
 
 
4-of-11-photo

U.K. cemetery resting place for 452nd men

(Fourth in an 11-part series that was first run in the Beacon in 2007) Thirty men killed while serving in the 452nd Bombardment Group during World War II are buried at an American military cemetery near Cambridge, England. They...
 
 

Comprehensive Airman Fitness: A lifestyle and culture

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Comprehensive Airman Fitness (CAF) is comprised of a multitude of targeted programs and activities as well as resiliency skills taught to enable Airmen to make sound choices. The program’s goal is to build and sustain a thriving and resilient Air Force community that fosters mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness. The new...
 

 

Suicide prevention takes courage, communication, official says

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Veterans Affairs Department has named September National Suicide Prevention Month, but the Defense Department continues its year-round, comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to address the issue of suicide in the military, a Pentagon official said Aug. 21. Army Lt. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, military deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense for personnel...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Megan Crusher

Padres honor Team March Airmen during Air Force Appreciation Day

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Megan Crusher San Diego Padres second baseman, Jedd Gyorko, greets Senior Master Sgt. Donald Branscum, 1st Sgt., 452nd Civil Engineer Squadron, as he took his position on the field, during the Pa...
 
 

Air Force revamps Air Expeditionary Force

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force will deploy Agile Combat Support (ACS) Airmen under its redesigned air expeditionary force (AEF) construct October 1. The primary purpose of the redesign was to look at ways to deploy more ACS Airmen with their units and standardize dwell times across the Air Force as much as possible to...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin