US Air Force MSgt Maria Breceda is a member of the 161st Air Refueling Wing, which flies the venerable KC-135. Her son was recently deployed to Afghanistan as an airborne infantryman with the 25th Infantry Division. An Air Force article documents how her prayerful concern affected her son’s deployment:
“Even though we have a family legacy of serving in the military, I said a prayer every day to keep a watchful eye over my son Michael and the members of his unit.”
Over the next few weeks she learned just how her prayers had been answered: Read more
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: Read more
A news release from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing spiraled into infamy as it highlighted how a KC-135 Stratotanker crew “saved” an F-16 pilot:
“The lead F-16 came up first and then had a pressure disconnect after about 500 pounds of fuel. We were expecting to offload about 2,500 pounds.”
After the F-16 disconnected a second time, the pilot went through his checklists and told the crew he had a fuel system emergency. Over 80 percent of his total fuel capability was trapped and unusable.
Since the F-16 could take some gas, he stayed with the tanker and flew back to his base along side the tanker, taking gas every 15 minutes or so.
Then he landed. And the tanker went back to his orbit. And life went on.
There are a variety of things that could go wrong to make a fighter experience “trapped fuel” or a similar fuel system malfunction. The standard thing to do when that happens is land — or, if unable to land, find a tanker, and then top-off with the tanker every few minutes on the way home. That’s what they did.
The crew’s squadron commander put an interesting spin on it, though: Read more
A US Air Force T-6A Texan II experienced an engine failure in April, and solo instructor pilot Capt Eric Clements safely recovered it to Vance AFB in Enid, Oklahoma. The incident was reportedly in the local press (and then picked up at the Stars and Stripes and Military.com), and Clements was quoted being somewhat effusive in praise about his own performance:
“It was beautiful,” he said with a smile. “It was really one of my better ELPs (emergency landing patterns) I had ever done.”
Since he teaches students to handle emergencies such as the one he faced, Clements was asked what grade he would give himself for his work that day.
“I would have graded myself an excellent,” he said. “I want to be humble Read more
The Air Force has identified the three Airmen killed in Friday’s crash of a KC-135 in Kyrgyzstan.
Capt. Mark T. Voss, 27, of Colorado Springs, Colo.,
Capt. Victoria A. Pinckney, 27, of Palmdale, Calif., and
Tech Sgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif.
They were apparently a Fairchild AFB-based crew.
Also at AF.mil.
Initial reports indicate (and Air Force sources reportedly confirm) a US Air Force KC-135 has crashed after takeoff from Manas, Kyrgyzstan, which is a transit hub for US forces in Afghanistan.
Five people were on board, said Elmira Shyrypova, at the Kyrgyz Emergencies Ministry press office. The U.S. military didn’t give the number of those on the plane and said “the status of the crew is unknown.”
Purported photos of the crash site show KC-135 wing parts and a McConnell AFB tail flash.
KC-135s can carry cargo and are also refuelers for the many fighter aircraft supporting combat operations in Afghanistan.
Also at FoxNews.
Though media figures have ignored it when they’ve interviewed him, Michael Weinstein has long been an avid conspiracy theorist. As he noted when he first started his self-described “war” against “the wrong kind” of Christians several years ago, it has nothing to do with religious freedom: His war is about American Christians trying to take over the world to persecute Jews. Quoth Weinstein:
In Plan A, evangelical Christians with a smile on their face will ask you to please, please, please accept their biblical worldview of Jesus. The problem with that is, inevitably, Plan A morphs into Plan B. They stop asking so nicely, and then you have the Holocaust, the pogroms, the Inquisition…
This country is going through—right now—a transition from A to B. Read more
The Associated Press penned a piece saying the US Air Force has been saddled by an aging fleet of aircraft thanks to “past inattention” and a “lack of urgency.”
For decades, the U.S. Air Force has grown accustomed to such superlatives as unrivaled and unbeatable. These days, some of its key combat aircraft are being described with terms like geriatric, or decrepit.
The article then details some of the aircraft the Air Force is flying, including the KC-135, B-52, and U-2 (1950s), and F-15, F-16, and A-10 (1970s). Modern era Read more