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100th ARW refuels aircraft in huge multinational exercise

Capt. RJ Allen, a 351st Air Refueling Squadron pilot, and Maj. Joseph Smith, a 351st ARS instructor pilot, fly to Son San Juan Air Base, Spain, for exercise Trident Juncture Oct. 20, 2015. The exercise will primarily be conducted in Spain, Portugal and Italy with additional activities in Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and at sea in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christine Halan)

Capt. RJ Allen, a 351st Air Refueling Squadron pilot, and Maj. Joseph Smith, a 351st ARS instructor pilot, fly to Son San Juan Air Base, Spain, for exercise Trident Juncture Oct. 20, 2015. The exercise will primarily be conducted in Spain, Portugal and Italy with additional activities in Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and at sea in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christine Halan)

Senior Airman Donovan Kennedy, a 351st Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, speaks with Senior Airman Danielle Repp, a 351st ARS boom operator, Oct. 21, 2015, over England. Airmen with the 100th Air Refueling Wing will participate in exercise Trident Juncture from October through early November. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christine Halan)

Senior Airman Donovan Kennedy, a 351st Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, speaks with Senior Airman Danielle Repp, a 351st ARS boom operator, Oct. 21, 2015, over England. Airmen with the 100th Air Refueling Wing will participate in exercise Trident Juncture from October through early November. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christine Halan)

SON SAN JUAN AIR BASE, Spain (AFNS) -- Airmen with the 100th Air Refueling Wing began to refuel aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea as part of a multinational exercise Oct. 21.

The 351st Air Refueling Squadron will provide air refueling capabilities to approximately 30 nations during exercise Trident Juncture.

Aiming to test, train and enhance the ability of NATO military forces, Trident Juncture is one of the largest exercises in the world in the past 20 years. It will test the readiness of land, air, maritime and special forces units for potential crises from anywhere in the world.

"We're expecting to refuel about 130 aircraft during the exercise, but that number could change dramatically," said Capt. Joshua Fuller, a 351st ARS instructor pilot. "As part of the exercise we'll be evaluating our ability to change directions and respond to evolving requirements with little notice."

The exercise will provide Airmen gained knowledge and training through experience and teamwork while working with NATO partners.

"For me, the most exciting aspect of this exercise is showing the world that the incredible capability this aircraft brings to the fight is just as valid today as it has ever been," Fuller said about the KC-135 Stratotanker.

"We've been proving it over and over again since the first KC-135 Stratotanker rolled off the line in 1956,” Fuller continued. “Movies are made about fighter and bomber aircraft persecuting our enemies, but people don't make movies about the 'blue collar' crews of the tanker. I'm excited to tell that story to the world through this exercise, and to show all our NATO and coalition partners the force-extending role that tankers can bring to bear on any conflict."

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