Members of Air Force Reserve Command’s 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., recently became the first airmen from an AFRC or Air Mobility Command unit to refuel the F-35 strike fighter, the Air Force’s newest fighter. “We were the very first aircrew allowed to refuel the F-35, since the guidance allowing AMC crews to do so had just come out the night before,” said Capt. Robert Draper, pilot with the 916th ARW. The historic meeting took place in the skies over California during the time from late March into early April when a flight and maintenance crew from the wing’s 911th Air Refueling Squadron deployed to Edwards AFB, Calif., to support test operations there. The Seymour Johnson Reservists flew a KC-135 tanker from AMC’s 22nd ARW at McConnell AFB, Kan., during this deployment. (Seymour Johnson report by Maj. Shannon Mann)
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.