Reserve Tankers Support Atlantic Resolve

When US Africa Command requested refueling aircraft to continue its support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, help came from an Air Force Reserve Command unit 3,000 miles away. KC-135s and airmen from the 459th Air Refueling Wing flew from JB Andrews, Md., to RAF Mildenhall, England, to fill in for the 100th Air Refueling Wing—the only aerial refueling wing in the European theater—to support AFRICOM and other contingency operations. When EUCOM needed help, “the 459th stepped up to meet this need and is supporting operations over the next few months,” Col. Thomas Pemberton, 459th Operations Group commander, said in a release. The aircrews and maintainers from the 459th are providing inflight refueling for US and coalition aircraft engaged in OAR, NATO’s demonstration of support for allied nations in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. In addition to supporting allied training, “this was also an excellent opportunity for our crews to gain oceanic flying experience as there are different procedures to be followed than when flying in the continental US,” Pemberton said. “We gain invaluable experience in aerial refueling of many different types of aircraft, some that are not available to our crews at home station.”