French Connection-UK

The French air base that hosted Air Force KC-135s from RAF Mildenhall, Britain, last year during operations over Libya recently sent a French KC-135 tanker on a reciprocal visit. Deployed as the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, airmen of Mildenhall’s 100th Air Refueling Wing operated alongside French KC-135FR tankers at Istres during the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector. “I think this tour built on an already strong relationship,” said Maj. David Brown, 100th ARW plans and programs director. “In the long term, the goal is for us to be ready for any future conflicts and for us to operate together even more seamlessly than we have in the past,” added Lt. Col. Robert Ricks, 100th ARW staff director and former 351st EARS commander. “Hopefully we can keep this relationship going.” French personnel toured Mildenhall operations, including time on the new KC-135 Block 40 simulator during their visit on Jan. 4-5. (Mildenhall report by SrA. Rachel Waller)