The 92nd Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., simultaneously launched 20 KC-135s on Sept. 29, marking the largest-ever minimum interval takeoff event for the base, according to a spokesperson.
“This was an impressive feat boasting the largest take-off of a KC-135 fleet at Fairchild Air Force Base,” according to a Fairchild press release. “Today we launched more Refuelers than are owned by whole countries.”
The readiness exercise, which included an “elephant walk” as the aerial tankers lined up before takeoff, tested Fairchild’s maintenance generation capabilities and its ability to launch multiple aircraft in short order.
Fairchild is home to the Air Force’s only super tanking wing, with four KC-135 squadrons and 63 total aircraft. As such, the 92nd ARW nearly always has a squadron deployed downrange.
The Air Force announced in May that Fairchild is one of two candidate locations being considered for the next Active-duty KC-46 basing location. If selected, its 60-plus-year-old KC-135 fleet would be replaced with the service’s newest tanker.