HomeNewsArticle Display

349th ARS secures Air Force-level award

22 ARW

Boom operators assigned to the 349th Air Refueling Squadron pose for a photo July 19, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The squadron earned the 2018 Senior Master Sgt. Albert Evans Outstanding Air Refueling Section Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding air refueling section in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alan Ricker)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (AFNS) -- The 349th Air Refueling Squadron was recently recognized as the 2018 Senior Master Sgt. Albert Evans Outstanding Air Refueling Section Award winner.

The award is presented every year to the top boom operator section in the Air Force. This is the first time the 349th ARS has won the award.

“Since I took command, I’ve known the 349th ARS boom operators are the best in the business, and the Air Force just made it official,” said Lt. Col. Dan Schone, 349th ARS commander. “I could not be more proud of these guys. They work their butts off day in and day out – and a lot of times our boom operators aren’t recognized. We can’t do our mission without our boom operators.”

The 349th ARS was chosen out of 56 air refueling squadrons across the Air Force.

During the award period, the squadron offloaded 2.9 million pounds of fuel and supported 2,200 combat missions across the Middle East and Afghanistan. The team also brought new ideas to the table, revising their education and training programs and even securing a win at the first ever Air Force Spark Tank competition for innovation within the unit.

Master Sgt. Aaron Tessmann, 349th ARS superintendent said, while challenging, these changes made the team stand out.

“It’s kind of a paradigm shift, really,” Tessmann said. “This is one of the oldest jets in the inventory, so we’re pretty set in our ways. We had to change our mindset with the way that we fight and the way that we train.”

Competing against more modern refueling platforms was one of the biggest hurdles for the unit. The KC-135 Stratotanker has six pallet positions for cargo, while the KC-10 Extender has 36 pallet positions. Nine of the most recent wins have been awarded to boom sections operating on the KC-10 platform.

“When you compare a KC-135 and a KC-10 one-for-one, the KC-10 is going to have an advantage because they can carry more, and they can offload more gas,” Schone said. “Our boom operators have taken it to a different level and increased the effectiveness of how we operate. They’re getting the mission done, taking pride in it, and showing our younger folks what we can do.”

Schone stated that the unit’s mindset of prioritizing and enhancing mission success was always at the forefront of the team’s efforts.

“We don’t do our job to win trophies, but it’s nice to quantify our hard work into a win, and show our boom operators that they are better than everyone else,” Schone said.

Tessmann reflected on the unit’s accomplishments, but knows that in a world of increasingly capable near-peer adversaries, that this kind of performance must be cemented as the norm.

“If we don’t improve every single day, we’re just going to fall behind,” Tessmann said. “To claim we’re the number one AF in the world, you have to keep that title. We train the way we’re going to fight, and this is a key aspect of it. Our guys are ready to go at a moment’s notice, more ready than any other tanker fleet. I can tell you that.”

Engage

Twitter
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Maintaining resiliency in paradise - https://t.co/IXktGzGgWc (Story by the @624RSG) #ReserveResilient https://t.co/ta8mMTP…
Twitter
RT @hack_a_sat: Tune in at 11 AM PDT to watch the LIVE closing ceremony with Dr. Will Roper and @bjgol. 🚀It's all happening at https://t.c…
Twitter
Difficult, but not impossible. @GenCQBrownJr addresses the challenges the Air Force faces going forward. https://t.co/kF4FdxN5S6
Twitter
“I want to show people the power of having faith & sticking to what you say you’re going to do.” - Staff Sgt. Gerem… https://t.co/524l6BUsyI
Twitter
What operates 24/7 ensuring the safety of aircraft & aircrews, AND provides prompt service to whoever is flying?… https://t.co/JMaYsTV5XH
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr explains what the Air Force can expect from his leadership: https://t.co/bxeqgZ1NSi
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Your daily @usairforce news! ✅ @Team_Tinker Airmen are using 3D printing to manufacture metal components successfully…
Twitter
5-year-old Wilder Umbarger, who suffers from X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy, wished he could see a real plane and me… https://t.co/nUtEk9e0u4
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr assumed his new role as Air Force Chief of Staff Aug. 6. https://t.co/kk8y15fOYe
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: "Their exceptional service in conducting over 100,000 COVID tests set the conditions to reduce the effects of this pandem…
Twitter
Botinsol Analytics has developed a portable precision chem-bio lab for people who need to do real-time analysis in… https://t.co/XgOq8ROkSE
Twitter
#FollowFriday: The 22nd Air Force Chief of Staff @GenCQBrownJr https://t.co/UOG0JDKTVJ
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On #PurpleHeartDay we honor and remember the members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were wounded in combat or paid the ulti…
Twitter
.@GenDaveGoldfein retired from active duty and passed on the duty of Air Force Chief of Staff to @GenCQBrownJr. https://t.co/AdlykogVjZ
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr's tenets of leadership: - Execute at a high standard - Be disciplined in execution - Pay attention… https://t.co/9EmCYue0OO
Twitter
RT @AirMobilityCmd: We are incredibly proud of our #TotalForce #MobilityAirmen and their support to ongoing relief efforts in #Lebanon. Del…
Twitter
Today, we salute the #heroes, wounded or killed in action, who have served our country. #PurpleHeartDay https://t.co/4yHljdUaNf
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: I’m blessed to have Sharene by my side & the support of our sons, Sean & Ross. She has committed so much to our family &…
Twitter
RT @CENTCOM: Gen McKenzie informed Gen Aoun of the impending delivery of three C-17s shipments of U.S. relief supplies including food, wate…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,262,786
Follow Us