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Mass training prepares tankers for expedited takeoff

Airmen assigned to the 940th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron work on the tail of the KC-135 Stratotanker Feb. 10, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Around 150 Airmen were involved in a mass practice, preparing four KC-135 Stratotankers for expedited takeoff. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams)

Airmen assigned to the 940th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron work on the tail of the KC-135 Stratotanker Feb. 10, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Around 150 Airmen were involved in a mass practice, preparing four KC-135 Stratotankers for expedited takeoff. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams)

940th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft hydraulic technicians repair a hydraulic line on the KC-135 Stratotanker Feb. 10, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The Airmen practiced preparing four KC-135 Stratotankers for expedited takeoff. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams)

940th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft hydraulic technicians repair a hydraulic line on the KC-135 Stratotanker Feb. 10, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The Airmen practiced preparing four KC-135 Stratotankers for expedited takeoff. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams)

Senior Airman Robert Carson III, 940th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, works on the hydraulic system Feb. 10, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Members from the 940 AMXS, as well as the 940th Operations Group, participated in generation training with four KC-135 Stratotankers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams)

Senior Airman Robert Carson III, 940th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, works on the hydraulic system Feb. 10, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Members from the 940 AMXS, as well as the 940th Operations Group, participated in generation training with four KC-135 Stratotankers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 940th Maintenance and Operations Groups participated in generation training with four KC-135 Stratotankers here Feb. 10.

This was the first mass practice since the return of the refueling mission last year and served as preparation for upcoming exercises and inspections.

“We have to practice to be ready,” said Chief Master Sgt. Daniel McCarthy, 940th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flight chief. “There are so many moving parts.”

Airmen were challenged to generate all four aircraft for takeoffs as fast as possible. Each was refueled, inspected and prepared for departure, using less than half the time they would have on a routine mission.

For everything to fall into place properly, coordination is key.

“Everything is orchestrated,” said Lt. Col. Paula Ross, 940 AMXS commander. “They have to stick to the schedule.”

Although maintenance and operations Airmen were the primary participants, aircrew, aircrew flight equipment and security forces were also involved. Support from services and supply were simulated as well.

“There are a lot of supporting roles outside of maintenance,” McCarthy said. “Everybody in the wing has a part to make our missions happen.”