Coming Home One Last Time

When a lone KC-135 returned home to Grand Forks AFB, N.D., earlier this month after a stint in Southwest Asia, it completed the last-ever Stratotanker deployment for the 319th Air Refueling Wing. After flying KC-135s for 50 years, the wing is converting to operating RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft, courtesy of BRAC 2005. “It’s sad to be marking the end of more than 50 years of history. but it will be okay. We are ushering in the future of aviation,” said Lt. Col. Noel Bradford, 905th Air Refueling Squadron commander. This unit is the last of Grand Forks’ four flying squadrons to drawdown in preparation for inactivation. The 905th’s KC-135s began departing Grand Forks for good in August. The last KC-135 is scheduled to leave the base in December. (Grand Forks report by A1C Rachel Waller)