The first of a 12 additional KC-135 Stratotanker military aerial refueling aircraft has arrived at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, according to a recent 92d Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs news release.
Fairchild is already the largest air refueling wing in the world, and the additional KC-135s will increase base aeromedical evacuation, airlift, and air refueling mission capabilities to deliver strength and hope around the globe.
“We’ve been talking about increasing our KC-135 [numbers] for a couple years now; we’ve always talked about it in the future tense. The future is now and we’re excited to be receiving our first aircraft.” said Col. Gene Jacobus, 92nd ARW vice commander. “As the largest KC-135 wing in the Air Force, we are the center of excellence for air refueling, the backbone of our global reach capability.”
Fairchild was selected by U.S. Air Force officials as the new home for these KC-135s because of its strategic location, high air refueling mission demand and lower construction and renovation costs.
“Having additional aircraft will enhance our mission in ways that we haven’t had in a long time; more aircraft means more opportunities to help the warfighter, to ensure that air refueling is being done in a more significant way, and enhance our ability to train aircrews,” said Col. Russell Davis, 92nd Operations Group commander. “Having more aircraft available to fly means we’ll have a more proficient Air Force.”
Team Fairchild Airmen are prepared for anything at any moment; adding additional KC-135’s emphasizes our existing capabilities and improves our mission readiness allowing us to compete, deter, and win against adversaries.
The Air Force’s website said the KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 60 years. This unique asset enhances the Air Force’s capability to accomplish its primary mission of global reach. It also provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. The KC-135 is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using patient support pallets during aeromedical evacuations.