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Fairchild, McConnell tankers fuel NORAD exercise

A KC-135 Stratotanker connects with a B-52H Stratofortress from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., during an aerial refueling mission over the Alaskan coastline as part of exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 May 28, 2015. The annual North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise affords American and Canadian forces field training aimed at improving NORAD's operational capability in a binational environment. The exercise spanned two forward operating locations in Canada’s Northwest Territories, two U.S. Air Force bases in Alaska, and a mobile radar site in Resolute, Nunavut, as well as the sky over much of NORAD’s area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A KC-135 Stratotanker connects with a B-52H Stratofortress from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., during an aerial refueling mission over the Alaskan coastline as part of exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 May 28, 2015. The annual North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise affords American and Canadian forces field training aimed at improving NORAD's operational capability in a binational environment. The exercise spanned two forward operating locations in Canada’s Northwest Territories, two U.S. Air Force bases in Alaska, and a mobile radar site in Resolute, Nunavut, as well as the sky over much of NORAD’s area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Staff Sgt. Shawna Sims connects with an F-22 Raptor fighter for aerial refueling over British Columbia, Canada, during exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 at Eielson AFB, Alaska, May 27, 2015. The exercise spanned two forward operating locations in Canada’s Northwest Territories, two U.S. Air Force bases in Alaska, and a mobile radar site in Resolute, Nunavut, as well as the skies over much of the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s area of responsibility. Sims is a 92nd Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator from Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Staff Sgt. Shawna Sims connects with an F-22 Raptor fighter for aerial refueling over British Columbia, Canada, during exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 at Eielson AFB, Alaska, May 27, 2015. The exercise spanned two forward operating locations in Canada’s Northwest Territories, two U.S. Air Force bases in Alaska, and a mobile radar site in Resolute, Nunavut, as well as the skies over much of the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s area of responsibility. Sims is a 92nd Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator from Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets fly alongside a 22nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker as the CF-18s each take turns refueling from a multi-point refueling system pod during exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 May 29, 2015, over the Arctic Ocean. These pod modifications enhance the efficiency and flexibility of the Air Force's aerial refueling fleet, enabling KC-135s to refuel NATO and U.S. Navy aircraft. The KC-135 was from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., and operated by a 92nd Air Refueling Wing crew from Fairchild AFB, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets fly alongside a 22nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker as the CF-18s each take turns refueling from a multi-point refueling system pod during exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 May 29, 2015, over the Arctic Ocean. These pod modifications enhance the efficiency and flexibility of the Air Force's aerial refueling fleet, enabling KC-135s to refuel NATO and U.S. Navy aircraft. The KC-135 was from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., and operated by a 92nd Air Refueling Wing crew from Fairchild AFB, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A 22nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., is prepped for an exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 aerial refueling mission May 29, 2015, at Eielson AFB, Alaska. During Amalgam Dart, U.S. Air Force KC-135s, alongside Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130T Hercules and CC-150T Polaris tanker crews, had numerous opportunities to practice bilateral aerial refueling with aircraft ranging from U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles and RCAF CF-18 Hornets, to U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors, an E-3 Sentry (AWACS) and a B-52H Stratofortress. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A 22nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., is prepped for an exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 aerial refueling mission May 29, 2015, at Eielson AFB, Alaska. During Amalgam Dart, U.S. Air Force KC-135s, alongside Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130T Hercules and CC-150T Polaris tanker crews, had numerous opportunities to practice bilateral aerial refueling with aircraft ranging from U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles and RCAF CF-18 Hornets, to U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors, an E-3 Sentry (AWACS) and a B-52H Stratofortress. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

The throttles of a 92nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker from Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., enable pilots to control the aircraft’s four massive CFM International CFM-56 turbofan engines on the way to exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 at Eielson AFB, Alaska, May 27, 2015. The KC-135’s engines each produce 21,634 pounds of thrust, propelling the aerial refueling and airlift aircraft at speeds up to 530 mph at 30,000 feet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

The throttles of a 92nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker from Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., enable pilots to control the aircraft’s four massive CFM International CFM-56 turbofan engines on the way to exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 at Eielson AFB, Alaska, May 27, 2015. The KC-135’s engines each produce 21,634 pounds of thrust, propelling the aerial refueling and airlift aircraft at speeds up to 530 mph at 30,000 feet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNS) -- A tanker task force assembled from the 92nd Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, and the 22nd ARW from McConnell AFB, Kansas, joined approximately 300 military personnel and 15 aircraft in exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2 May 26-June 1.

The annual North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise affords American and Canadian forces field training aimed at improving NORAD's operational capability in a binational environment.

"It's a great training event that equips our forces, American and Canadian alike, with real-world experience working alongside our NORAD partners in a safe training environment," said Royal Canadian Air Force Capt. Stephen Hinks, a 437rd Transport Squadron pilot. "It's great to see how well we work together as a tanker task force in the high Arctic."

Hinks, along with several tanker crews from Fairchild AFB and McConnell AFB, said the exercise was a great success, and it prepared and trained them for most contingencies that support NORAD's mission.
"It was a great experience working with the Canadians and really honing in on how we can best support each other at home and downrange," said Staff Sgt. Shawna Sims, a 92nd Air Refueling Squadron boom operator.

The exercise spanned two forward operating locations in Canada's Northwest Territories, two U.S. Air Force bases in Alaska, and a mobile radar site in Resolute, Nunavut, as well as the sky over much of NORAD's area of responsibility.

U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotankers, alongside RCAF CC-130T Hercules and CC-150T Polaris tanker crews, had numerous opportunities to practice bilateral aerial refueling with aircraft ranging from U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles and RCAF CF-18 Hornets, to F-22 Raptors, an E-3 Sentry (AWACS) and a B-52H Stratofortress.

"Amalgam Dart helps to strengthen our homeland defensive strategies by practicing the plans we have developed and identifying where we can improve," said Maj. James Lamb, the co-tanker task force detachment commander and a 22nd Operations Group member.

This year's Amalgam Dart built on previous years' training successes when deploying air assets to the north exercising sovereignty operations in North America's northern aerospace and in the high Arctic.

Lamb said the team benefited from the many good lessons the exercise provided.

"This exercise brought together multiple U.S. tanker bases and forward operating assets, placing us side by side with our Canadian allies," he said. "We've had a great time putting this exercise together and executing the mission. With both countries working together, we can support more of the assets available to commanders for strategic homeland defense."

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