Air Fueling Foiled, Airmen Make Do:

An E-3 AWACS command and control aircraft participating in Cope Tiger in the Pacific couldn’t complete an aerial refueling with a KC-135 because of bad weather, but instead of canceling its mission, the E-3 crew flew back to Korat RTAB, Thailand, to ground refuel some 65,000 pounds and then rejoined the exercise. “I’ve seen such a quick turn only once in my 20 years of flying AWACS missions,” said Maj. David Alexander, a 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron mission crew commander. The E-3 belongs to the 962nd AACS at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, but was flying with a mixed crew including airmen from the 961st at Kadena AB, Japan. The 961st AACS E-3 is down for maintenance, so Elmendorf provided the aircraft for this rendition of Cope Tiger. (Cope Tiger report by Capt. Renee Lee)