Guard Boom Operator Reaches 8,000 Hours

SMSgt. Floyd Atkins, a boom operator with the 151st Air Refueling Squadron at McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tenn., reached 8,000 refueling hours during a mission over Qatar recently. Atkins reached the milestone while refueling a B-1B Lancer in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in mid-July, according to a release. He was assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron at Al Udeid AB, Qatar, at the time. It “signifies the love for what I do,” he said. A boom operator typically hits an average of 5,000-to-6,000 refueling hours, states the release. His goal is to “reach the 8,765-hour mark, which would equal one full year of flying time,” said Atkins. “The Air Force and Air National Guard have given me everything they promised and more,” said Atkins. “I’ve covered a lot of ground in those 8,000 hours.”