HomeNews

KC-135 Stratotankers; fueling the fight

Hand on the throttle of a KC-135 aircraft.

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

Pilots sit in a KC-135 cockpit.

Capt. Titan Miller and 1st Lt. Darlene Hajewski, KC-135 Stratotanker pilots assigned to the 906th Air Refueling Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, participate in an aerial refueling exercise over the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 21-1 Feb. 1, 2021. The KC-135 demonstrated its efficiency by refueling multiple aircraft allowing them to complete their mission. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

Airman smiles while sitting in a KC-135 aircraft.

1st Lt. Darlene Hajewski, KC-135 Stratotanker pilot assigned to the 906th Air Refueling Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, 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. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

Aircraft refuels over the Nevada Test and Training Range.

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. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

Aircraft flies over the Nevada Test and Training Range.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron flies over the Nevada Test and Training Range during a Red Flag 21-1 exercise Feb. 1, 2021. Red Flag exercises test the capabilities of pilots and teams while increasing efficiency and strengthening their teamwork. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

Pilot in the cockpit of fighter jet during aerial refueling.

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 64th AGRS provided a realistic threat in a contested environment for U.S. and coalition forces to train against. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

Aircraft refuels over the Nevada Test and Training Range.

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 (NTTR) 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. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

Aircraft refuels over the Nevada Test and Training Range.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, begins its refueling run over the Nevada Test and Training Range during a Red Flag 21-1 exercise Feb. 1, 2021. The F-16 pilot communicated with the boom operator to ensure effective execution of the refueling mission. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

Aircraft refuels over the Nevada Test and Training Range.

A B-1B Lancer assigned the 34th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, MacDill AFB, Florida, over the Nevada Test and Training Range during a Red Flag 21-1 exercise Feb. 1, 2021. Red Flag began in 1975 as an aerial combat exercise but has evolved to include warfighting across air, space and cyberspace domains. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

Aircraft flies over the Nevada Test and Training Range.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 11

A B-1B Lancer assigned the 34th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, flies over the Nevada Test and Training Range during a Red Flag 21-1 exercise Feb. 1, 2021. Red Flag exercises are a vital part of readiness training, ensuring U.S. and coalition forces are prepared to meet the requirements of the National Defense Strategy. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

Aircraft lands on the flight line.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 11

An E-3A Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) assigned to the 963rd Airborne Air Control Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, seen through the window of a KC-135 assigned to 91st Air Refueling Squadron, MacDill AFB, Florida, lands at Nellis AFB, Nevada, Feb. 1, 2021. Red Flag exercise teams are comprised of multiple aircraft from different squadrons that perform specialized battle tasks to effectively simulate real-word fighting scenarios. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dwane R. Young)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- 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 AFB 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 (ARS), Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and the 91st ARS, MacDill AFB, Florida, and their KC-135 Stratotankers.

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.”

News Search

Featured Links