Airmen of the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron and their KC-10 tankers deployed to Southwest Asia amassed a “staggering” 4,760 combat missions for 2009, according to Ralph Jackson with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing history office. Of that number, he said that 2,756 aerial refuelings aided troops-in-contact sorties. Other 908th EARS data for 2009: more than 40,000 flying hours, offloading more than 422 million gallons of fuel to more than 31,400 aircraft. “Operations are happening every day that require fuel at a moment’s notice; the KC-10 has the capability and the people to make it happen,” said Capt. West Spurlock, pilot deployed from Travis AFB, Calif. Keeping those aircraft flying is the work of ground crew like SrA. Justin Lassiter, aerospace propulsion journeyman deployed from JB McGuire, N.J., who said, “We strive every day to make sure our planes meet their mission capabilities.” (380th AEW Feb. 12 report by MSgt. Scott Sturkol)
An Air Force C-17 transport jet recently tested a new technology that could help aviators stay on course even if the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) that much of modern-day aviation relies on is compromised.