Tanker Teaming

Posted 17 August 2012
Photo by SSgt. Austin M. May

Two aircrews from the US Air Force and the Royal Air Force teamed up on 16-17 August 2012 to train in what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind flight. A TriStar KC Mk. 1 crew from 216 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton, UK, deployed to RAF Mildenhall, where they flew alongside a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker crew. The aircrews completed their preflight briefings together, took off in formation, and then flew out over the North Sea and stayed with a few miles of each other during air refueling operations on the flight. NATO operations in Libya in 2011 identified the need for allied nations to become familiar with air refueling procedures carried out by allies. This flight was the first practical demonstration.

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