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KC-135s over Afghanistan

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posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 11:37 AM
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Wild story out of Iraq about the tanker guys, who never get enough love. Several months ago, a KC-135RT was operating over Afghanistan. The mission required them to take on fuel from another KC-135. The two aircraft refueled below the top of the mountains around them, and pilot Capt. Kirk Evans talked about the challenges involved, saying "Receiving fuel from a tanker [at a high altitude was pretty challenging]. The air is thinner, and I had less control authority over the aircraft because the engines are less responsive.” The aircraft took on fuel, and returned to station to refuel the scheduled aircraft.

They refueled the two scheduled aircraft, and were preparing to return to station, when an aircraft (undisclosed type, probably an AC-130) on a CAS mission urgently requested fuel. They were after a high priority target, and the alert tanker wouldn't arrive in time. The tanker rushed to help, but when they arrived on station, the receiver required 18,000 pounds of fuel, while the tanker was only 7,000 from Bingo. They offloaded the required amount, and started looking at options. The two bases nearby were questionable (one frequently came under attack, the other was under a storm). After discussing things, they were able to meet the inbound alert tanker halfway, take on more fuel, and successfully land back at their planned base.


After being unexpectedly requested to refuel a CAS (Close Air Support) aircraft targeting a high-level enemy leader, a KC-135 found itself “below bingo.”
Although they usually offload fuel to other aircraft, aerial refuelers may have to take gas from other tankers to extend their “on station time” or to be able to return to their destination, as happened some months ago to a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker over Afghanistan.

The U.S. tanker was in fact involved to a really long mission, so much so it had to be refueled by other KC-135s three times.

According to Lt. Steve Hartig, 350th Air Refueling Squadron pilot, the original task was to refuel two tactical jets flying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Nothing special then, besides an initial contact with another KC-135 to get some fuel and extend the mission.

“This was my first deployment as a receiver-qualified pilot,” said Capt. Kirk Evans, 384th ARS pilot in a USAF release. “Receiving fuel from a tanker [at a high altitude was pretty challenging]. The air is thinner, and I had less control authority over the aircraft because the engines are less responsive.”

After completing the operation, the Stratotanker returned to its racetrack and continue its refueling mission.

theaviationist.com... -afghanistan/




posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
hell yes, that's bad***, I don't know about sitting that long though, they must of been flying for hours.




posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 11:46 AM
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a reply to: ware2010

Total mission time was 13.5 hours.



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:03 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

That's a pretty long flight for a civilian craft, leave alone a big tanker over a hot zone.

That's a damned fine crew!



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:07 PM
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That kind of job has to really rattle the nerves. I know other MOS's, especially 11b's give these types a hard time (In fun really) , but in reality, logistics could not be more important.
edit on 1-12-2016 by iTruthSeeker because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:15 PM
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Cost, 7 bazillion... all to zap a few Hillbilly Mujahideen, running, at night, around a mosque. Shooting starts around 3 minutes...



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

It's always interesting to see everyone going on about the next great fighter this, or the next great fighter that, and how much we need this fighter. But as my father used to say, "All those fighters aren't going to do you any good if you can't get them where they need to be".



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:21 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: iTruthSeeker

It's always interesting to see everyone going on about the next great fighter this, or the next great fighter that, and how much we need this fighter. But as my father used to say, "All those fighters aren't going to do you any good if you can't get them where they need to be".



Exactly. That is pretty much it. The guy with the fuel is as important as the mechanic at the motor pool, and so on.



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:41 PM
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originally posted by: iTruthSeeker

originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: iTruthSeeker

It's always interesting to see everyone going on about the next great fighter this, or the next great fighter that, and how much we need this fighter. But as my father used to say, "All those fighters aren't going to do you any good if you can't get them where they need to be".



Exactly. That is pretty much it. The guy with the fuel is as important as the mechanic at the motor pool, and so on.

Not wanting to go too far off topic, but yes, that is true. Every link in the chain is just as important as any other link.

I build cell sites, and although I am just as qualified (and certified) as the next tower monkey, my primary task outside being the crew lead is testing the components once they are mounted. Your phones wouldn't work if those guy didn't do their job properly, and work better because I do my job properly. But those in the air are the ones doing much of the work, so they get the kudos when things go well. Everyone forgets the guy on the ground supporting them... even though if there is ever a serious issue up there, I am the one who has to call for EMS, go up the tower with rescue gear, and bring them back to the ground as safely as possible. So, my responsibilities, actually, exceed what those up on the tower need to do. And before anyone says something like "Why can't the others on the tower do the rescue?", we never know when or where on the tower someone will need assistance so they don't ascend with the rescue gear in tow.

The point being that everyone is part of the team. We do what we're tasked with doing, hopefully exceeding expectations in the process.

This refueling crew did that in spades! High fives all around!



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:42 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
Cost, 7 bazillion... all to zap a few Hillbilly Mujahideen, running, at night, around a mosque....

Have you ever said anything positive about anyone doing anything?



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:52 PM
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originally posted by: paradoxious

originally posted by: intrptr
Cost, 7 bazillion... all to zap a few Hillbilly Mujahideen, running, at night, around a mosque....

Have you ever said anything positive about anyone doing anything?

Yah, end unjust wars.



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 01:04 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr

originally posted by: paradoxious

originally posted by: intrptr
Cost, 7 bazillion... all to zap a few Hillbilly Mujahideen, running, at night, around a mosque....

Have you ever said anything positive about anyone doing anything?

Yah, end unjust wars.

Which requires a perspective in which you are lacking.

Just think for a moment... the people running the US government today were the hippies against Viet Nam in the 60/70's... and they have no issues with things today.


Still, kudos to the refueling teams. They pulled off one heck of a head scratcher.



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: paradoxious


Which requires a perspective in which you are lacking.

Just think for a moment... the people running the US government today were the hippies against Viet Nam in the 60/70's... and they have no issues with things today.

I live through the Viet Nam 'era' , the same lies were fostered then as now. The hippies as you call them protested endless unjust war then and it ended. Don't balme them for the same mess today, blame the factories for war that are the same ones then and now.



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 02:09 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: paradoxious


Which requires a perspective in which you are lacking.

Just think for a moment... the people running the US government today were the hippies against Viet Nam in the 60/70's... and they have no issues with things today.

I live through the Viet Nam 'era' , the same lies were fostered then as now. The hippies as you call them protested endless unjust war then and it ended. Don't balme them for the same mess today, blame the factories for war that are the same ones then and now.

Then you realize that back then, it took a Republican president to get us moving out of Viet Nam, and likely the same to get us out of the quagmire Democrats have created since.

It doesn't take rocket science to realize that the plans for 9/11 took longer than the 8 months after Bush took office to transpire. It's also not rocket science to realize that even if we stop advancing our tech, our compatriots around the world will not stop.

Maybe, one day, your rose tinted glasses will fade enough for you to see reality.



posted on Dec, 2 2016 @ 09:15 AM
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a reply to: paradoxious


Then you realize that back then, it took a Republican president to get us moving out of Viet Nam, and likely the same to get us out of the quagmire Democrats have created since.

You mean Nixon? He was crooked as sin, got run out of Washington on a rail. And don't say Ford, he 'pardoned' him.

Both were part of the whole cabal that kept us in Vietnam. More tons of bombs were dropped on Nam during his presidency than before.

Its not really about who presides in the oval office anyway, is it...

Edit: By the by, C130 gunship platform was developed during Viet Nam, we still lost that 'endless' conflict too. Think we would have learned from our mistakes.

edit on 2-12-2016 by intrptr because: edit:



posted on Dec, 2 2016 @ 10:10 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Flying 12000lbs below bingo with no good divert does not leave one with a warm & fuzzy feeling! Great story and great teamwork! NKAWTG indeed!



posted on Dec, 2 2016 @ 10:20 AM
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a reply to: vinomech

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Two or three thousand is bad enough, but that had to be getting close to "We need to get on the ground NOW levels". They're really lucky, because there are only a handful of RT tankers flying. They would have been in serious trouble if they were just an R model.




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