About Those E Model Tankers

Someone at the Air Staff needs to update information on the status of the KC-135E tankers flown by two Air National Guard units. Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, told Congress Oct. 24 that the service cannot fly those tankers in the US Central Command area of operations. He said: “We don’t deploy them. We can’t take them into theater. We can’t lift the weight. We can’t operate at the [regional] temperatures.” Now, however, the News-Democrat reports that an Air Force spokesman says 10 of the 14 E models flown by the Illinois Air National Guard’s 126th Air Refueling Wing at Scott AFB, Ill., have and “will continue to support missions in theater.” Three aircraft are grounded and one is under scrutiny. The spokesman speculated that Moseley either “misspoke” or was given “bad” notes. The other E model unit, the New Jersey ANG’s 108th Air Refueling Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J., currently is trading its Es for R models with new engines and structural upgrades. Just for the record, earlier this year, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne also told Congress that USAF doesn’t deploy E model tankers to Southwest Asia.