The 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron surpassed its own monthly refueling sortie record set in June while supporting coalition operations over Afghanistan. From its staging base at Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan, the 22nd EARS flew 493 sorties in July, passing an average of one million pounds of fuel daily, to upset the previous 473 sortie-record set the month before. “Whether they are F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, several different types of Navy and coalition aircraft, bombers, reconnaissance aircraft— just about everything that flies over Afghanistan—we refuel,” stated Lt. Col. Pete Tschohl, 22nd EARS commander. Col. Brian Newberry, commander of the 376th Expeditionary Operations Group at Manas, said he “fully expect[s] further records to fall in the next few months.” (Manas report by TSgt. Tammie Moore)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.