15th WG Airmen refuel on the go

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle from the 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard, refuels from a KC-135R Stratotanker from the 96th Air Refueling Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich)

03/13/15 12:00 AM

By Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich, 15th Wing Public Affairs

Some Airmen from the 15th Wing had an aerial view of the fighter aircraft refueling during a KC-135R stratotanker incentive ride March 5.

The eight Airmen, representing the 15th Operations Group, medical group, maintenance group and the wing staff agencies, were hand-selected by their supervision to participate in the incentive flight.

According to Lt. Col. Jason Work, commander of the 96th Air Refueling Squadron, the primary mission was to conduct aerial refueling operations with four F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 162nd Fighter Wing, Arizona Air National Guard and four F-15 Strike Eagles from the 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard in support of Hawaii Air National Gard exercise Sentry Aloha.

During this mission, the Airmen were allowed to lay down on either side of the boom operator in the boom pod and watch as the fighter aircraft conducted refueling operations.

“This was my first time flying in a KC-135. I thought this was absolutely awesome,” said SrAirman Alicia Sims, 15th Medical Group family health clinic. “I don’t know that much about airplanes, but I think that made the experience better.”

For some Airmen, it wasn’t learning about the planes that enhanced the experience but learning how the big mission comes together.

“This was a great experience. Seeing real air power reinforced why I am in the Air Force,” said Capt. Nicole Ward, 15th Medical Group’s family health clinic. “It helped me understand how what we do in the medical group supports the flight crews so they can conduct their mission.”

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