reply to post by Zaphod58
Haha yeah it does. Try telling that to the strike eagle drivers. lol (yes in my opinion they are the cockiest pilots). NKAWTG...N!
Well most people know its the tanker motto. "Nobody Kicks Ass Without Tanker Gas....Nobody!"
I'll start with the phrase. The rumor is that the Grissom boys started using NKAWTG back in 1984 for special ops missions down south. This is backed
up by David English's book "The Air Up There" where he says the same thing.
As for the patch, it started way back in the day for the 384th ARS out of McConnell AFB, KS. This used to be the only squadron on the KC-135 side (ask
gariac for the KC-10s in the range, probably Sierra 99) that was certified for special ops. And they still are in some ways, except during times of
war and stuff. We can't normally refuel below 10,000 feet AGL, but the 384th could for spec op missions involving say an AC-130 or other variant. And
that has to do with the flight characteristics of the boom at low speed and low altitude. It takes quite a bit of muscles to hold the boom up to 30 on
the elevation at that speed. Nowadays, most Instructor level booms are certified to do this.
Back to topic, the 384th ARS still uses "spooky" (from the spy vs spy character) on their nametags. Edwards AFB has two refueling squadrons
(although I only know of one KC-135 they actually own): the 445th FLTS (active duty) and the 370th FLTS (guard). The 445th owns all experimental
testing while the 370th own all developmental testing, but they both can share, depending on mission needs. As most people already know, Edwards
calls for Active and Guard squadrons from all over the US to go there for two week TDY's. Usually it's two jets/crews every two weeks, except during
busy times like the F-22 or F-35 (just saw google earth's new imagery of Edwards with five total KC-135's on the ramp, probably F-35 testing).
Anyway, when I was in, my first TDY to Edwards was in 2002 and last was in 2006. We belong to the 445 FLTS
during our time there and you have to
have a TS clearance, not an interim clearance (all booms have TS clearances or interim clearances (investigation ongoing for clearance) for SIOP
purposes). Now when we leave our base, we were expecting to be there for F-22 support, at least that's what our paperwork says. But when you get
there it's hit or miss what you get to do. If your flight plan is going into the "box" area tracks, most likely your going to have security with
you (but not always), and most likely your going to see something maybe a dozen people have seen before, depending on the compartmentalization of the
I know it's a little off topic but it explains the patch in due time. Well these two week missions consisting of flying every morning or night for
around 3-4 hours and culminated with leaving on the second friday, heading back home. If you were one of the lucky ones to see a black project, then
the 445th Squadron Commander and Chief Boom gave you the infamous tanker black world patch shown above. It's also known as a Friday or morale patch,
and they discouraged it's use off base and outside of Edwards. I got mine in 2002, as a fresh instructor boom much to the jealousy of fellow booms
back home, on my second trip to Edwards. We also got a certificate that was actually classified Secret and had to be carried in our "secrets" bag.
When returning to our home base, the certificates were displayed in the Top Secret SIOP/8044 briefing room in the vault for everyone to see. That
certificate was the first time I've seen the six stars used in conjunction with Area 51 (if you don't know what I'm talking about don't ask)
I can't say what else was on it, unfortunately.
So that's the story of the tanker black world patch. Not too glamorous I know, but at least it has an interesting story behind it, probably like most
of the patches from the black world. Anybody have any questions I'll answer as much as I can, but you know the rules of classified material.