Bulgaria Hosts Tankers Supporting Afghanistan Operations

KC-135 tankers are temporarily operating out of Burgas Airport, Bulgaria, in support of NATO operations in Afghanistan. The tankers are expected to stay until month’s end. They are refueling cargo aircraft going into, or coming out of, Southwest Asia, said Lt. Col. Andrew Stephan, who commands the expeditionary KC-135 contingent. With the closure of the runway at another, not-named air base in the region for routine maintenance, members of the 621st Contingency Response Wing from JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., arrived at Burgas, located on the Black Sea, on May 9 to prepare the airfield for the subsequent touchdown of personnel and KC-135s from the 927th Air Refueling Squadron at MacDill AFB, Fla. Within three days of their arrival, the MacDill airmen were flying daily sorties. “[W]e have been able to complete 100 percent of our tasked missions,” said Stephan. (Burgas report by MSgt. Laura K. Deckman)