KC-135 Crew Celebrates Christmas over Iraq
An official Air Force article describes how a US Air Force KC-135 crew celebrated Christmas day:
Holiday songs emitted from a Bluetooth speaker while the four aircrew members and two crew chiefs prepared for preflight inspections. A lieutenant cracked open a plastic container of care-package-cookies and passed them around…
Stereotypically, no commander wants to send his troops into combat on Christmas day. Besides the typical holiday traditions and emotions, no one wants a casualty that day of all days. However, one of the pilots explained the need for American airpower to be overhead all the time, even on Christmas:
“Flying on Christmas day was good for us because every aircraft we offload fuel to is in some form supporting the guys on the ground – who are also missing their families,” KC-10 pilot Lt. Col. Danny said. “The fight against terrorism is 24/7 and we have to maintain decisive airpower over the area of responsibility at all times, even on Christmas.”
That said, the article also helped highlight the ocean of difference between fighter pilots and heavy pilots:
At 30,000 feet, Christmas dinner had limitations.
Two small metal ovens behind the cockpit served as the in-flight kitchen… [Soon] the front of the aircraft blossomed with a scent of chocolate chip cookies and pizza.
Well, that’s one “advantage” to flying a tanker. If the fighter pilots they refueled were carrying food at all, it was probably energy bars or low-output finger food chopped up by the flight kitchen.
Who wouldn’t prefer fresh baked cookies?