Crews complete cargo run, oceanic training to Hawaii

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lawrence Sena
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 97th Air Refueling Squadron, 384th ARS and 93rd ARS conducted a cargo delivery mission to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 18-21. 

The mission required the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft crew to fly to Travis AFB, California, where they loaded 8,000 pounds of cargo and supplies, followed by air refueling training for a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from JBPHH.

In order to get more training for our crews, we were looking for opportunities to carry cargo,” said Maj. Garret Bryant, 97th ARS KC-135 pilot. “Fortunately, [Airmen from] Travis AFB were able to provide us with cargo to deliver to Hickam AFB, allowing us to train on cargo operations as well as oceanic flight for our pilots.” 

Depending on fuel storage configuration, the KC-135 can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo, which is loaded, unloaded and monitored by boom operators. 

 “As a boom operator, we are responsible for making sure cargo is loaded properly, safely strapped down inside the aircraft and offloaded to ensure the timing of the delivery is met,” said Senior Airman Matthew Ronnfeldt, 97th ARS in-flight refueling specialist. “Being able to complete a real-world cargo mission like this one provides us with a great opportunity to train on these requirements at an even higher level.”

Despite the primary mission of the KC-135 being air refueling, the 92nd Air Refueling Wing employs its Stratotankers to support multiple mission sets such as aeromedical evacuation, cargo, and command and control. 

"Obviously, the mission of the KC-135 is air refueling, but having the flexibility to move cargo gives the Air Force another mobility asset that can quickly transport personnel and supplies anywhere they’re needed,” Bryant said. “This makes having KC-135 crews who are trained in multiple mission sets, beyond air refueling, even more important.”

The completion of this cargo mission enabled Team Fairchild to improve the skills and knowledge of its crews, and ensure they can continue to sustain rapid global mobility as the Air Force’s premier air refueling wing.