Veteran Tanker Makes Hill Museum

After a three-year negotiation, the Utah Air National Guard’s 151st Air Refueling Wing at Salt Lake City has turned over its last E model KC-135 tanker to the Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill AFB, Utah, where it will go on permanent display. The Air Guard unit received KC-135E tail No. 57-1510 in August 1978 and has kept the aerial refueler ever since. The Air Force is in theprocess of retiring most of the E-model tankers to free funds to maintain the slightly younger R models to sustain the tanker force until new KC-X and follow-on tankers arrive. The 151st ARW KC-135E “will be our first tanker on display,” said Scott Wirz, Hill Aerospace Museum director. The Hill museum had to work the turnover with the National Museum of the US Air Force, as well as the 151st ARW and the Illinois Air Guard’s 126th ARW. Lt. Col. Jim Pauling, a pilot with the 126th ARW, said his wing is one of two units that still retains “E-model qualification,” which the 151st does not. Pauling added, “We stay current on them to deliver them to museums and places like the boneyard [Aerospace Regeneration Group] at Davis-Monthan [AFB, Ariz.].” (151st ARW report by MSgt. Burke Baker)