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Fairchild Fuels Dyess AFB B-1B Lancers

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing

A KC-135 Stratotanker and aircrew members from Team Fairchild's 384th Air Refueling Squadron conducted air refueling training missions in support of 7th Bomb Wing B-1B Lancers Aug. 12-16 at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

"We're down at Dyess to facilitate the training needs [B-1s] have," said Tech Sgt. Kyler Pierce, 384th ARS boom operator. "It's really important for us to be here to be prepared for any [potential] real-world missions."

Training missions spanned four days with 20 hours of flight time at night, where both the B-1 and KC-135 aircrews trained on nighttime air refueling operations.

Fairchild tankers normally support aircraft within the Pacific Northwest region with “out-and-back” missions, but Fairchild answered the call to provide multi-day support to B-1s outside their normal radius at Dyess.

"Being at Dyess is helpful for both [our] tanker crews and [their] receivers," said Capt. Howard Palmer, 384th ARS pilot. "If we performed an ‘out-and-back’ refueling, it would actually minimize the amount of time we would have to get the most out of training."

Being on-station allowed for more than 35 refueling ‘contacts’ with six different B-1s, resulting in successful aerial refueling requalification and training for boom operators and aircrew.

"During a regular business effort at Fairchild, we might only get a few [air] refueling contacts in, but at Dyess I’ve performed over 30 contacts, which is a great amount of training for me and the receivers," Pierce said.

Team Fairchild's ability to support and train with aircrew from the 7th Bomb Wing ensures the delivery of effective warfighter effects at the right place and time, and is essential to sustaining Rapid Global Mobility.

"It's great working with other aircrews to accomplish training requirements," Palmer said. "Being able to contribute to the successful continuation of the mission is a great feeling."

The B-1B carries the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.

Air refueling aircraft such as the KC-135 provide the fuel for B-1s to get where they are needed. This arm of Rapid Global Mobility could not happen without Team Fairchild Airmen like those in the 384th Air Refueling Squadron.