HomeNewsArticle Display

Tanker aircrews help in fight against ISIL

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- With 16 KC-135 Stratotankers on its installation, Airmen from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, waste no time when answering the call to defend the nation -- even when there is little to no notice. As these planes can be seen and heard overhead, one has to wonder where in the world they are flying.

On June 27, 2014, four aircrews from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron were tasked to forward deploy on short notice in support of the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL. Two KC-135s, each carrying two crews and a maintenance package, were flown 16 hours nonstop to the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility in Southwest Asia.

"We were able to put crews in the AOR within 48 hours of a notification, getting them out to support the fight 17 hours faster than normal," said Lt. Col. Nathan Oliver, 6th Operations Group. "We deploy everyday ... this is what we do. The main responsibility of the deployed 91st ARS tanker crews is to support U.S. and coalition aircraft through air refueling whenever and wherever it's needed in support of the situation on the ground."

Two crew members, Capt. Ryan Christie and 1st Lt. Kaylyn Leibrand, recently deployed from MacDill. "It's important to do what we can to help and protect the citizens who can't protect themselves and the assets we have in the country," said Leibrand. "We are fueling assets in the air who are able to assist with the situation for Iraqi troops and civilians on the ground."

Since Aug. 8, U.S. aircraft supported by tanker units like those from MacDill have delivered humanitarian aid, including more than 101,000 halal meals and nearly 46,000 gallons of water, and conducted more than 130 airstrikes across Iraq. Air Force efforts have helped relieve some of the humanitarian suffering caused by ISIL and slowed their advance in Northern Iraq, giving Kurdish and Iraqi security forces time and space to resume offensive operations, including the recent recapture of the Mosul Dam.

According to Lt. Col. Gene Jacobus, the 91st ARS commander, not only is the 91st ARS still deploying crews, this is also one of the largest efforts they have supported in the last couple of years.

"All of our crews are prepared to deploy on short to no notice all the time" Jacobus said. "However, in order to do it on this scale, all of Team MacDill has to come together."

Because the 91st ARS is one of the largest active-duty tanker units in Air Mobility Command, they play a major role in the overall success of our nation's current fight against terrorism.

So when hearing or seeing news about the United States' strike on terrorism and campaign for peace from the air, just know that MacDill is helping to keep them flying there.



Facebook Twitter
RT @AF_WSOC: 👀 who popped up with the big dogs on TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 40 Ranked Recruiting Classes for 2019! Excited to have these fresh…
For saving two fellow wingmen while deployed in Afghanistan, Tech. Sgt. Nick Torres received two bronze star medals… https://t.co/83bcAvqCxG
RT @DefenceHQ: Today the various NATO aircraft flypast at #RIAT19 to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO! Since its creation, NATO has been…
The @DeptofDefense has partnered with the @DeptVetAffairs to implement the first Women's Health Transition Training… https://t.co/JUTFicsXDw
⚡️ “Apollo 11 50th anniversary” https://t.co/GSeJYz6wPJ
The 413th Flight Test Sq. @TeamEglin successfully conducted the 1st #USAF piloted flight of the #HH60W Combat Rescu… https://t.co/wTyTtcmZjv
Jetting into the weekend like... #F16 https://t.co/wEWD7vr476
.@AstroHague showing his #USAF pride during the anniversary week of the #Apollo50 landing. @ISS_Research… https://t.co/WdgCFDmz6f
'Only two of us were not shot or dying': #USAF #Airman receives Silver Star for heroism in Afghanistan heroism… https://t.co/IdmKq8gtDx
RT @AFResearchLab: Dr. Lisa Rueschhoff was one of 82 engineers chosen to attend @theNAEng 2019 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium! Sh…
RT @ActingSecAF: .@GenDaveGoldfein is bolstering partners & #allies across Europe, discussing how we can be #StrongerTogether in air, #spac…
Annual recovery efforts have helped to identify 40 of the 52 service members lost when a C-124 crashed into Mount G… https://t.co/fdHUY2IATf
8 of the surviving #Apollo #Astronauts got together for the 50th anniversary of the #moonlanding. @NASA… https://t.co/szPJHXupa1
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Gen. Goldfein, during his keynote address at the 2019 Chief of the Air Staff's Air and Space Power Conference said the follo…
.@WrightPattAFB opened a #cyberdefense facility for #USAF Life Cycle Management Center's Fighters & Bombers Directo… https://t.co/QibdORLX2q
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our asymmetric advantage is represented in this room. It is all of us working together on a common cause. Great to see…
.@AFResearchLab supports @AFThunderbirds w/cutting-edge aerospace #technology. From G-suits, custom earpieces, fly-… https://t.co/HJ07fLg2aP
Operating from rough dirt strips, the #C130 Hercules is capable of transporting & airdropping troops & equipment in… https://t.co/c4vsC76vRX