An Air Force Reserve Command KC-135 aircrew out of McConnell AFB, Kan., flew four back-to-back trips from Bagram AB, Afghanistan, to Ramstein AB, Germany, not delivering fuel to aircraft in flight but transporting wounded to help out during heightened operations. According to a Feb. 5 931st Air Refueling Group report, the eight Reservists, volunteers from the 931st ARG, flew a specially configured KC-135 from Ramstein to Bagram and back, ending a 21-hour day; then, after 24 hours crew rest, they repeated the medical evacuation flights three more times during their 12-day mission. The KC-135 was “wall-to-wall with [medical] equipment and aerospace medical technicians,” said TSgt. Warren Bearup, a boom operator with the 931st ARG, who added, “Our purpose is to get there and back.” The 931st ARG has conducted the medevac missions twice before. (931st ARG report by TSgt. Jason Schaap)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.