by Scott King
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
10/1/2014 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Fairchild
aircrews are actively participating in support of the mission against
Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant known as ISIL.
U.S. military forces and partner nations, including the Kingdom of
Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, have been taking military action
against ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq since Sept. 23, using a mix of
fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack
Missiles against ISIL targets.
Some U.S. aircraft participating in the operation include remotely
piloted aircraft, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18
Hornet and F-22 Raptor fighters, B-1B Lancer bombers and KC-135
From their deployed location, Fairchild crews are proud of their
airframe and the role it's filling against the continuing effort
fighting global terrorism.
"For over 57 years, the KC-135 has provided the logistical backbone to
the U.S. air war fighting capability," said Maj. Gena Fedoruk, 92nd
Operations Support Squadron instructor pilot. "The aircraft's purpose is
fuel the fight, which she has reliably done for decades. The KC-135 is
an asset that continues to perform well, excelling in the ever-changing
operational environment and sustained high ops tempo."
Another important member of the tanker crews knows the importance of the Stratotanker.
"I feel the KC-135 has a very important role in fulfilling the mission
because we are able to get aircraft where they are needed whether it's
to their operating bases or to target locations and safely back home
again," said Senior Airman Wesley Tinch, 92nd Air Refueling Squadron
boom operator. "It's because of the Stratotanker that other aircraft
effectively fulfill their role in protecting the freedom back home."
The KC-135 has provided air bridges since its inception in 1954. To name
a few, it refueled aircraft in the Vietnam War, Just Cause in Panama,
Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Allied Force in the Balkans, Operations
Enduring and Iraqi Freedom and now continues to serve in the Global War
Fairchild crews are also proud to be participating in air operations against ISIL.
"My role as an aircrew member on such a timeless airframe is beyond
anything I could have hoped for in any lifetime," said 1st Lt. Marcel
Trott, 92nd ARS pilot. "Being a part of something greater than the
individual is a blessing in itself - it's purely my honor to serve in
such a capacity."
"I'm extremely honored to have participated with my crew in leading the
first KC-135 formation flight in support of the initial airstrikes in
Syria," Fedoruk said. "It is truly fulfilling to be part of this
historic moment in the fight against ISIL and terrorism."
Base leadership stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the deployed crews and their efforts over the skies of Iraq and Syria.
"Our crews are working hard around the clock delivering fuel to U.S. and
coalition aircraft on the front lines in order to protect our freedom,"
said Col. Charles McDaniel, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. "I'm
extremely proud of the job they are doing and of the continuing role our
KC-135s have provided to the warfighters."
(Some information for this article was provided by Air Force Print News)