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.


 
 

 

Air Force creates Installation and Mission Support Center

The Air Force is centralizing its installation support management within a newly created Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC), Air Force officials announced July 11. The change resulted from a comprehensive effort to reduce overhead costs; increase efficiencies; eliminate redundant activities; improve effectiveness and business processes; and will help meet the Defense Dep...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Katherine C. Gandara

AF introduces Total Force Commissioning Process

U.S. Air Force photo/Katherine C. Gandara University of New Mexico Air Force ROTC cadets take their oath of commission in a ceremony at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center headquarters at Kirtland Air Force Bas...
 
 

IMPORTANT INCIDENT REPORTING NUMBERS AND PROCEDURES

For 24-hour security assistance, call the Base Defense Operations Center (BDOC) at 655-2981 through 2985. Use if you need immediate security assistance Use to report all criminal activity Use to report Resource Protection issues Use to report traffic accidents To report incidents affecting Protection Level 1, 2 or 3 resources, call the Security Incident Hotline...
 

 
AF-to-Every-airman-grafic

AF to every Airman: Tell us your story

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force leaders want Airmen to share their stories with the world and designed the 2014 American Airman Video Contest with that purpose in mind. “Every Airman has a story — and smartphone tec...
 
 

Pulse on Air Force force-shaping management

Several factors have resulted in fewer Airmen eligible for current and upcoming involuntary force management boards. Air Force leaders recently decided to bolster manning for nuclear-related career fields, an intention to make adjustments to account for budgetary uncertainties tied to proposed force structure changes. Those actions, coupled with previously approved voluntary applications and re...
 
 
SECAF_DLJones

SecAF says Total force readiness has atrophied

While elements of the Air Force are always prepared to meet the country’s readiness needs, total force readiness has deteriorated, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told the Defense Writers Group June 18. Nearing the six-...
 




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