Airmen at Travis AFB, Calif., have the distinction of having trained the first three Japan Air Self Defense Force boom operators. The three Japanese airmen, who had served as loadmasters, received four months of training at Travis. First, they attended a six-month language course at Lackland AFB, Tex., followed by three weeks at Altus AFB, Okla., for the basic boom operator course. At Travis, they got to learn how to use the KC-10 refueling apparatus, offering them a similar type operational environment for Japan’s new KC-767 tankers.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.