Fairchild takes in evacuated McConnell KC-135s

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Because of its ramp space, logistical capabilities and maintenance facilities, Fairchild Air Force Base received six KC-135 Stratotankers that were evacuated April 26 from McConnell AFB, Kansas, due to projected severe weather.

"Severe weather with damaging winds and hail with a possibility of tornados was predicted in Kansas," said Col. Phil Heseltine, the 22nd Air Refueling Wing vice commander. "As a precaution, we decided to evacuate aircraft to an area with less risk."

Along with the six aircraft, 36 aircrew and support personnel from McConnell AFB arrived to continue their air refueling missions.

"We are hoping the aircraft and crews will return to McConnell as soon as possible," Heseltine said. "Although it will all depend on the weather and safety situation."

In addition to the Stratotankers, three RC-135V/W Rivet Joint and one E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft from Offutt AFB, Nebraska, along with aircrew and support personnel, were evacuated to Fairchild AFB last weekend due to severe weather.

"Our partnership and shared resources are hallmarks of how Team Fairchild operates ... and that includes our entire Air Force family," said Col. Matthew T. Fritz, the 92nd ARW vice commander. "We're proud of the ample ramp space we are blessed with, not to mention our unequalled 135 support capability.

“As a 'center of excellence for air refueling,' helping our teammates in a time of need is what we are all about."