Tanker Rotation at Andersen

More than 100 airmen and four KC-135 tankers from Air Force Reserve Command’s 434th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom ARB, Ind., arrived on Guam Dec. 31 to take over refueling operations in the Pacific theater. The Reserve contingent replaces elements of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 171st Air Refueling Wing. Members of the Reserve wing will operate from Andersen Air Force Base through the end of April to support the bombers and fighters that are stationed there on a rotational basis to dissuade aggression. This includes the impending rotation of F-22s in mid month. They will also support training exercises in the region, such as the upcoming Cope North exercise next month with Air Force, Navy, and Japan Air Self Defense Force aircraft. “We are here primarily to support the continuous bomber presence here, but as one of the primary refueling operations in the Pacific, we will probably be supporting most of the requests we get from units throughout the Pacific.” said Lt. Col. Mark Sigler, commander of the wing. The Reservists bring continuity to the mission as each of the wing’s KC-135s will fly with the same aircrew, wherever it goes. “Some of our maintainers have been working on the same aircraft for the past 10 to 15 years, so they have pride in the aircraft they are assigned to,” said Sigler. (Andersen report by SrA. Ryan Whitney)