Omaha Composite Squadron members were treated to a KC-135 Stratotanker Orientation Ride with the 155th Air Refueling Wing of the Nebraska Air National Guard. Lt. Col. Ray Romero of the Nebraska ANG gave the cadets an overview of the Wing’s mission and capabilities as well as historical deployments and accomplishments over the span of its existence. The Nebraska Air National Guard unit is the second oldest in the nation, and has played a crucial role in supporting the Air Force’s mission at home and abroad. Cadets were also briefed on the advantages of joining the Air National Guard and the educational benefits that come with membership.
After a pre-flight safety briefing and security check, the cadets were led to the flight line and boarded one of the Wing’s KC-135 tankers. The crew walked them through the various procedures prior to take-off, and promptly departed from Lincoln to rendezvous with fighters from the South Dakota Air National Guard over the Lake Andes MOA, between Nebraska and South Dakota.
Once the aircraft arrived on station, we were joined by a flight of F-16 Falcons; one on the left wing, and one ready to refuel behind the KC-135. Once the fighters arrived, each one of the cadets was able to take turns and join on either side of the boom operator and witness as the aircraft maneuvered into position based on the operator’s instructions and signals, in order to line up for the boom to couple and dispense fuel in midair.
The Omaha Composite Squadron would like to thank the Nebraska Air National Guard’s 155 Air Refueling Wing for their hospitality, professionalism and dedication to the service of our State and Country. A special thanks to Lt. Col. Ray Romero and the crew of the 155th Air Refueling Wing who made this unforgettable experience possible, and for taking time from his busy schedule to make this happen. It could not have gone any smoother without their assistance and perseverance.