KC-135 Stratotankers; fueling the fight

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Capt. Titan Miller, KC-135 Stratotanker pilot assigned to the 906th Air Refueling Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., prepares for take-off during a Red Flag 21-1 exercise at Nellis AFB, Nev., Feb. 1, 2021. The KC-135 refueled the Red Forces known as the “Aggressors” during this exercise. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)
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Red Flag 21-1 is well underway.

Pilots, crew members and maintainers look to find their stride within the frenetic pace of day and night missions. Those who look to the skies over Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., can bear witness to the revolving door of aircrafts constantly taking off and landing.

Tasked with refueling these aircraft is an integrated team from the 906th Air Refueling Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and the 91st ARS, MacDill AFB, Fla., and their KC-135 Stratotankers.

First Lt. Darlene Hajewski, KC-135 Stratotanker pilot assigned to the 906th Air Refueling Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., converses with air crew during an aerial refueling exercise over the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 21-1 Feb. 1, 2021. KC-135 pilots communicated with inbound aircraft and the boom operator in the rear of the aircraft during the sortie. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

The KC-135 Stratotanker has provided aerial refueling for the United States Air Force, joint partners and allied nation aircraft for more than 50 years.

“This is my first Red Flag, and it’s amazing,” said Senior Airman Edwin Mensah, 906th ARS boom operator. “I’ve been refueling aircraft for five years now, but you really don’t get to do it at this level unless you deploy.”

Red Flag provides essential training for its participants, but for Capt. Titan Miller, 906th ARS KC-135 pilot, it also serves as a benchmark of accomplishment.

Miller participated in Red Flag ten years ago as a Boom Operator and now returns as a KC-135 pilot.

“This moment for me is a dream realized,” ‘said Miller. “Red Flag is designed to give you critical experience and no matter the job you perform, after you leave here, you leave better.”
 

An F-22 Raptor fighter jet, assigned to the 525th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, begins its refueling run over the Nevada Test and Training Range during a Red Flag 21-1 exercise Feb. 1, 2021. Red Flag trains pilots and aircrew together to build a more lethal, resilient and adaptable coalition force. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

 
 
 
An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS) begins its refueling run over the Nevada Test and Training Range during a Red Flag 21-1 exercise Feb. 1, 2021. The NTTR, is comprised of more than 12,000 square miles of air space and 2.9 million acres of land where pilots execute missions during Red Flag. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

 

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