912th ARS keeps global reach mission flying from March ARB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anneliese Kaiser
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

In an Air Force, where squadrons are separated by functions, one self-sustaining squadron soars above the rest to break the mold.

The 912th Air Refueling Squadron is an active duty squadron that is a tenant unit of Fairchild Air Force Base’s 92nd Operations Group and is located at March Air Reserve Base, California. The 912th ARS integrates with the Reserve’s 336th ARS, and other units at the base, to support the base’s air mobility mission.

The squadron is composed of 33 different Air Force specialty codes, allowing the Airmen to complete nearly every aspect of the KC-135 Stratotanker’s Global Reach mission in house.

"Within 12 hours, I can launch and generate an aircraft to meet the mission,” said Lt Col. Breanna McNair, 912th ARS commander. “In the meantime while my pilots are processing, my maintainers are generating an aircraft. My intel Airmen are making sure the crew knows where they’re going and what threats they might have, and life support is working to make sure everything is good to go.”

Like a well-oiled machine, the 912th ARS is self-sufficient, yet works hand-in-hand with its Reserve counterparts on base.

“Our Airmen really make this unit what it is. Our active duty maintainers have embedded with the Reserve maintainers on the flightline, as well as across the back shops,” said Chief Master Sgt. Dillon Johnson, 912th ARS superintendent. “The integration on the maintenance side is pretty seamless, and that’s the way it should be, because they’re working shoulder to shoulder day-in and day-out, to get the mission done.”

The Air Force reactivated the 912th Air Refueling Squadron to operate KC-135 with Air Force Reserve Command's 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March ARB, Dec. 3, 2010. This pairing was one of several active associations that Air Mobility Command has formed with AFRC.

Total Force Integration is a priority for March ARB, in conjunction with the partnership they share with Team Fairchild. While the 912th ARS is a geographically-separated unit of Fairchild, the base works administrative processes for the squadron and provides support when needed.

“We’ve had amazing support from our group and wing leadership up there at Fairchild,” Johnson said. “We are pretty self-sufficient here, but when there’s things we need, we know we can reach out at any time, and get the help we need from our family up North.”

Resources are sparse for the 912th ARS because of its location, encouraging active duty Airmen to make the best out of their situation.

“As far as resources, we don’t have much, so we have to turn internally to each other to support each other mutually, and that creates a really great bond,” McNair said. “It’s the equivalent to something you would see at a remote location.”

Regardless of what challenge is thrown at the 912th ARS, also known as the Vipers, their Airmen stay focused on the mission.

“Our mission statement is ‘Vipers refuel the mission together,’” Johnson said. “It really encompasses the fact that we have so many different specialties working together to make it happen.”