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News > BRAC changes on the horizon for Goldsboro refueling wing
 
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Doubling the fleet
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- In 2008, the 916th Air Refueling Wing located in Goldsboro, N.C., will become the first Air Force Reserve Command air refueling wing to partner with an active associate unit. The 916th ARW will gain eight additional KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and will host 260 Regular Air Force fliers and maintainers. The new troops and aircraft will start arriving in late 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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BRAC changes on the horizon for North Carolina refueling wing

Posted 9/6/2007   Updated 9/17/2007 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Brandon Rizzo
916th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


9/6/2007 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- An air refueling squadron formerly based at Grand Forks AFB, N.D., will make history next year when it becomes an active associate unit with the 916th Air Refueling Wing here.

The is the first time a Regular Air Force squadron, the 911th Air Refueling Squadron Red Eagles, will partner with an Air Force Reserve Command air refueling wing that owns KC-135 air refueling aircraft.

"This is the first tanker active associate unit in the Reserve Command, so we are going to ensure it's done right," said Col. Fritz Linsenmeyer, commander of the 916th ARW. "It's a great package that includes the necessary maintenance, support and ops pieces to ensure that we and the active-duty forces can work side by side."

The change came about as a result of recent base realignment and closures, otherwise known as BRAC, which caused the inactivation of the 911th ARS in June 2007.

An advance team of 19 people from the 911th ARS will arrive here in October to help prepare for the transition.

"While significant numbers will arrive in February and March 2008, the majority of the new personnel will not arrive here until the summer of 2008," said Lt. Col. Eric A. Jorgensen, chief of 916th ARW plans.

The 911th ARS will officially reactivate here in April 2008, said Colonel Jorgensen.

Eight new KC-135R Stratotankers and the rest of the 911th ARS people are scheduled to be in place by September 2008.

The arrival of the aircraft will boost the Totin' Tigers' fleet to 16 aircraft, but parking space won't be a problem., according to Colonel Jorgensen.

"We already have space for all of the aircraft," he said. "What we don't have, is office and back-shop space for the 260 additional active-component personnel who will be arriving here to form the 911th. To make room for them, we're beginning a $26 million construction project. Contractor selection should happen hopefully in September and groundbreaking in December."

With tankers and maintenance manpower nearly doubling, the wing will increase its missions.

"We'll be evaluating our organization," said Senior Master Sgt. Barry Bradley, a boom operator. "We have to be careful that we correctly filter the active-duty personnel into our units. Ranks and experience have to be taken into consideration, and it can get very complicated. We've got one chance to make a first impression with them. We're excited to have them and their experience, and we'd like to make it a smooth transition."

The transition may be new to the current staff and to the 916th ARW, but the 911th ARS is not entirely new to Seymour Johnson AFB.

The squadron was originally formed here as the 911th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, in 1958. It was part of the 4241st Strategic Wing, flying tankers as well as B-52 bombers.

After other reassignments in the early 1960s and supporting global operations throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the 911th ARS returned to Seymour Johnson in 1991.

Colonel Linsenmeyer flew KC-10s with the 911th ARS for three years when the squadron was part of Seymour Johnson's 4th Operations Group.

"It is exciting to have the 911th 'Red Eagles' back at Seymour Johnson," said Colonel Linsenmeyer. "We are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of the leadership and initial cadre later this year and then to having the main body in place by the summer of 2008.

"All of us in the 916th are looking forward to partnering with our active-duty brethren to better integrate the Total Force and be One Air Force, Same Fight - An Unrivaled Wingman," he added.

People and aircraft from bases around the United States will arrive here to form the new squadron.

This is the only large-scale BRAC action taking place at Seymour Johnson. (Air Force Reserve Command News Service)



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