Liberators support Operation Atlantic Resolve
By Staff Sgt. Kat Justen, 459th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 27, 2016
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- When the 100th Air Refueling Wing out of Royal Air Force Base Mildehnall, England, was tasked to help support operations in Africa Command, the skilled men and women of the 459th Air Refueling Wing stepped up to fill the void in European Command operations.
"As one of the only KC-135 units in EUCOM, the 100th ARW is heavily tasked to support AFRICOM and other contingency operations and reached out to Air Force Reserve Command for assistance," said Col. Thomas O. Pemberton, 459th Operations Group commander. "The 459th stepped up to meet this need and is supporting operations over the next few months."
Members of the 459th ARW, to include pilots, boom operators and maintainers, are temporarily duty assigned to RAF Mildenhall from mid-June to July to help provide inflight refueling capability for Operation Atlantic Resolve as well as training to allied countries.
OAR is a continuing operation to ensure peace and stability in Eastern Europe in light of Russia's intervention in Ukraine.
The 100th Operations Support Squadron liaison officer said the 459th is refueling North Atlantic Treaty Organization E-3 Sentries in support of OAR, American F-16s and F-15s, and is also providing training opportunities for Norwegian Air Force F-16 pilots on refueling procedures.
However, allied air force pilots are not the only airmen receiving valuable training.
"This was also an excellent opportunity for our crews to gain oceanic flying experience as there are different procedures to be followed than when flying in the continental U.S.," said Pemberton. "We gain invaluable experience in aerial refueling of many different types of aircraft, some that are not available to our crews at home station."
Overall, missions with EUCOM in support of OAR and international training has been and continues to be a success.
"The 459th is providing excellent support to Mildenhall and will be looking at future dates to lend a hand to the 100th ARW," said Pemberton.