Meet the New OSC—the KC-135

A real-world event with a KC-135 tanker acting as impromptu on-scene commander for the rescue of survivors of an aircraft crash in Afghanistan prompted 92nd Air Refueling Wing airmen at Fairchild AFB, Wash., to develop a training scenario for just such operations. The Fairchild airmen earlier this month tested their scenario in, what they say, is the first-ever OSC exercise for KC-135s in Air Mobility Command, according to a Sept. 19 release. “This is a role that KC-135s are rarely used for, but fully capable of,” said Capt. Dana Stockton, 92nd Air Refueling Squadron pilot. In the exercise, the KC-135 crew established contact with the “downed” airmen, gathered needed information to pinpoint their position both visually and electronically, and continued to oversee operations as it passed the data to an A-10 for the next phase in the personnel recovery. Capt. James Blech, a 93rd ARS pilot, said benefit from the training was immediate, adding, “We hope to set the standard for KC-135 combat search and rescue preparedness.” (Fairchild report by TSgt. J.T. May III)