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79th ARS bids farewell to tail 00078

  • Published
  • By Brittany Lauro
  • 349th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Recently aircrew from the 349th Air Mobility Wing, 79th Air Refueling Squadron took a KC-10A Extender on its final flight where it will be decommissioned. The flight is part of the Air Force’s efforts to retire the KC-10A fleet.

“Flying on the KC-10 aircraft for the last time is a little emotional for me. I’ve spent 16 years and roughly 3,800 hours on this aircraft,” said Master Sgt. Arriel Bromley, 79th Air Refueling Squadron, KC-10 boom operator. “One of my favorite memories flying on the KC-10 was flying over Yosemite National Park and seeing the mountains.” Bromley’s passion for KC-10A aircraft inspired her to become a boom operator for the KC-46A Pegasus where she will continue her passion for flying as a career.

Bromley was part of the aircrew that flew the tanker 00087 from Travis to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona in early June.

The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group often referred to as “The Boneyard,” will be this bird’s final resting place. Before departing to Davis-Monthan, the aircrew left a historical memorial in honor of her time and dedication throughout the years. The aircrew aboard expressed a deep connection to the KC-10’s creating a special endeavor to Davis-Monthan.

As the U.S. Air Force continues to decommission its fleet of KC-10A Extender aircraft to make room for the KC-46A Pegasus, the new Boeing airframe will take its place alongside the war fighter. Currently, the base has six Extenders parked on the tarmac until their final flight in late September 2024.

“The KC-10 has been really good to me,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Jarvis 79th ARS, crew chief assigned at Travis. He was assigned an airframe in 2020 through the U.S Air Force Dedicated Crew Chief Program. The program was designed to provide continuity and accuracy by appointing ownership to each aircraft under the watchful eye of a qualified and dedicated crew chief. Jarvis was one Airmen selected to work alongside the KC-10A after roughly 16 years of experience under his belt and during his Reserve career.

“When the DCC program started assigning jets, I felt a sense of ownership and competition to try and make my aircraft look better than the other guy’s aircraft,” said Jarvis. He said he kept the aircraft clean and running well, which brought him a sense of pride.

“It was a surreal feeling arriving at Davis-Monthan and seeing both KC-10’s I’ve worked on come all together in one place,” Jarvis said.

As crew chief, Jarvis added his bird showcased at the Australian International Airshow in Avalon, Australia. She took the “Best Tanker of the Year” category. After all these years she is still making history.