The 912th Air Refueling Squadron at Grand Forks AFB, N.D., conducted its final flying mission on March 16 when two of its KC-135s rendezvoused with a C-17 over southeastern Montana and northwestern South Dakota. Four days later, on March 20, the unit was inactivated, becoming the second of Grand Forks’ four KC-135 squadrons to cease operations as the base transitions from tankers to unmanned aerial vehicles by October 2010, courtesy of BRAC 2005. “It’s been a unique experience; I would not trade it for the world,” said Lt. Col. Brian McDaniel, 912th ARS commander. The 912th ARS began flying KC-135s in 1962. It has had a distinguished record, winning, for example, the Spaatz Trophy in 2007 as Air Mobility Command’s best air refueling squadron, and logging 71,000 flying hours in the past three years, 52,000 of them in combat. The 905th ARS and 906th ARS are still flying for now. The 906th ARS is scheduled to inactivate in June, followed by the 905th ARS in October 2010, 2nd Lt. Anastasia Wasem, spokeswoman for Grand Forks’ 319th Air Refueling Wing, told the Daily Report yesterday. The 911th ARS, the first of the four squadrons to inactivate, stopped flying in 2007. (Grand Forks report)
The Air Force isn’t giving up on its long-frustrated efforts to retire older aircraft, as the department’s leader continues to talk with lawmakers about plans to free up funds for its modernization efforts, Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones said Nov. 30.