151st ARW KC-135 tasked to support AMC
By Airman 1st Class Emily Hoferitza, 151st ARW/PA
/ Published April 11, 2010
SALT LAKE CITY -- Twenty-one Air Guardsmen are on-call through July while one of the Utah Air National Guard's KC-135s is made available to the Air Mobility Command for mission support.
Maj. Corey Love, 191st Air Refueling Squadron chief of current operations, said there are 10 tankers across the country tasked for the mission.
"We're assigned as a duty tanker," he explained. "There are 10 Guard KC-135s that are performing this long-range duty that AMC has at their disposal to use for whatever missions come up that they can't fill on a volunteer basis."
The unit has averaged one mission per week, he continued.
Tech. Sgt. Vincent Littlejohn, a boom operator with 191st ARS, said they have flown mostly transport missions.
"We leave here and shuttle all sorts of crews from McChord and Dover to Charleston, where they stage C-17s to go to the Middle East," he said.
Major Love also said that they are planning two Pacific aeromedical evacuation missions in the next couple of months. The mission has also opened up many doors to Utah Air Guardsmen that may have otherwise stayed closed.
"It allows a lot of the maintainers to experience how the whole Guard lift thing works," said Tech. Sgt. Dave Hudson, 191st ARS boom operator. "They have the chance to get out on the road and experience different scenarios that they wouldn't have been involved in otherwise."
Sergeant Hudson also said that it is a good opportunity for unit visibility.
"We're able to play a small part in the bigger picture, as opposed to day-to-day ops here," he said.
The mission also gives crewmembers opportunities to further their training, said Chief Master Sgt. Doug Cline, who is also a boom operator."Young crewmembers are given command experience that they might not otherwise have had," he said.
"The bottom line is that, in actuality, we could be tasked to do anything," said Sergeant Hudson.
The duty tanker is scheduled for its next mission April 14.