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Tankers support bombers in exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron delivered 237,000 pounds of fuel to B-52 Stratofortresses from the 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron during an exercise Sept. 21 and 22. 

The units are deployed here supporting U.S. Pacific Command's Continuous Bomber Presence in the Asia-Pacific Region. 

"Supporting the Continuous Bomber Presence is our job here...and we are fully onboard to support that mission," said Lt. Col. Tom Goodwin, 506th EARS aircraft commander. "We're glad to be here and be a part of the mission." 

The bombers were conducting a long duration flight mission, which requires aerial refueling to fly more than 12 hours. 

"The purpose of the mission was to take B-52s down to their objective location," said Maj. Mark Hickman, 506th EARS instructor pilot. "We like being able to support the bombers in the Continuous Bomber Presence. It's different from our day-to-day jobs at our home station. The crew we have does a great job. They are always professional." 

Tech. Sgt. Riccardo Bonicelli, 506th EARS instructor boom operator, operated the boom on the KC-135 Stratotanker to offload 77,000 pounds of fuel to one of the B-52s Sept. 22. 

"Being able to support bombers during exercises in the Pacific is a great opportunity," Sergeant Bonicelli said. "I'm glad that I'm here and working with a great team. They have been instrumental in supporting the tanker mission here." 

The deployed Airmen assigned to 506th EARS are here from the 77th Air Refueling Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. 

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