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 launches new program to capture innovative ideas

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials announced the creation of a new program April 4, designed to harness Airmen’s innovation. Airmen Powered by Innovation, or API, will replace three existing Air Force “good idea” programs – the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness, Productivity Enhancing Capital Investment, and Best Practices programs – and expand the role of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Linda Welz

General Selva impressed with Total Force Integration at March

U.S. Air Force photo/Linda Welz General Paul Selva, commander, Air Mobility Command, presents Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Ghesquiere, 912th Air Refueling Squadron, with his coin, congratulating her for being named the 2013 AMC Maintaina...
 
 
Photo courtesy of Bernard S. Little

Air Force welcomes four-legged lieutenant

Photo courtesy of Bernard S. Little Goldie, a Golden Retriever, stands at “attention” after being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the dog therapy program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on March 12. G...
 

 

Airmen must revalidate dependents

By Dec. 31, every Airman will be required to provide their servicing finance office with documentation for all dependents as part of Air Force audit readiness efforts. This one-time, Air Force-wide recertification process will allow the Air Force to validate Airmen’s basic allowance for housing entitlements, ensuring every dollar of the $5.4 billion the Air...
 
 
U.S. Army photo/Sgt. 1st Class Walter Talens

Equal Opportunity Leadership training helps Soldiers prevent discrimination

U.S. Army photo/Sgt. 1st Class Walter Talens Brig. Gen. Scottie Carpenter, 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command commanding general, congratulates the graduates of the Equal Opportunity Leadership course at March Air Reserve ...
 
 

Blake paved way for thousands of Air Force women

The women of today’s Air Force can look back with pride to Staff Sgt. Esther McGowin Blake. “We consider her the first lady of the Air Force,” said William Chivalette, curator of the Enlisted Heritage Hall at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. “She raised her right hand to enlist in the U.S. Air Force on...
 




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