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  • Aerial refueling probe light evaluations flown with KC-135: Effort to clear Navy, USMC F-35 night refueling envelope

    The F-35 Lightning II program recently completed testing on an improved lighting assembly with the KC-135 Stratotanker that will enable the Navy and Marine Corps F-35 variants to refuel behind the tanker at night. Flight testing of the redesigned light, which attaches to a refueling probe, was led by Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, and supported by Edwards Air Force Base, California.
  • AF Week in Photos

    This week's photos feature Airmen from around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.
  • Air Force Spark Tank winning idea takes next step at 97th AMW

    Positioned next to every KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator in training is an instructor lying on a pad in the boom pod guiding them through training.
  • AF Week in Photos

    This week's photos feature Airmen from around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.
  • Advanced training prepares boom operators for future

    Within the past year, KC-10 Extender boom operators have been receiving cutting-edge, three-dimensional simulator training and life-size cargo load training that benefits the boom operator career field around the world.
  • Exchange program instructor fuels interoperability at Pitch Black 2018

    The Military Personnel Exchange Program offers active-duty Airmen the chance to integrate into ally and partner nation air forces abroad.
  • 6th ARS in-flight refueling section recognized as best in Air Force

    At the 39th Annual Boom Operator’s Symposium at Altus AFB, Oklahoma, the section received the 2017 Senior Master Sgt. Albert L. Evans Trophy. The award is given to the most outstanding air refueling section in the Air Force each year. The 6th ARS received the honor for the sixth time, more than any unit in the Air Force.
  • KC-135 aircraft boom instructor platform wins Spark Tank cup

    Master Sgt. Bartek Bachleda, 22nd Air Refueling Wing aircraft boom instructor, from McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, won the inaugural Air Force Spark Tank competition cup at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium Feb. 22, 2018, in Orlando, Florida, for his KC-135 aircraft boom instructor platform idea.
  • Boom operator reaches 5,000 flying hours

    Just east of Denver, Nov. 29, 2017, McCrillis anticipated the moment he would complete his goal of reaching 5,000 flying hours. It came just after he completed refueling his favorite receiver, the B-52 Stratofortress.
  • Boom operators help develop new KC-46 system

    Earlier this year in Everett, Washington, workers from Detachment 1, 418th Flight Test Squadron, and Boeing teamed up to achieve major test milestones for the KC-46A Pegasus, which resulted in the Defense Department authorizing initial production in August.
  • Becoming a boom

    From an early age, Airman 1st Class Shelby Bowling, a 350th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, had an idea of what she wanted to do when she grew up. It wasn't until midway through her time in college that life provided her an opportunity to take a chance.
  • What it takes to be a boom operator

    Boom operators on an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker have the ability to pump thousands of pounds of fuel to any capable aircraft, thousands of feet above the ground, flying at 200 knots, all while only 47 feet from colliding into each other. However, before any of this is possible, they had to go through extensive training and Altus Air Force Base is where the path begins for all KC-135 boom operators.
  • Boom operator soars, rises to challenge

    With nerves pushed aside and the pilots' support, Cash was able to successfully refuel the B-1, allowing the crew to continue their mission with a full tank. At the age of 19, she never thought she would be trusted with so much responsibility.
  • Altus AFB produces mission capable boom operators

    For the past 16 years, the 97th Air Mobility Wing has been the only schoolhouse for training initial KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator students, which trains around 265 Airmen and international students a year.
  • Following in her father's flight plan

    Some families have a history of military service, whether it be cross-service or within the same branch. It is somewhat less common however, to have two consecutive generations not only serve in the same branch of the military, but to pursue the same career field.
  • Airman tops off 8,000th hour career milestone

    Senior Master Sgt. Floyd W. Atkins, a 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, recently reached 8,000 refueling hours in his career, a rare feat for a boom operator.
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