KC-135 Ride

Early, early morning – coffee breath, pre-sunrise car rides, tired eyes, and paperwork (let’s be real – it’s the Air Force). Lots of waiting. A short brief on what NOT to do. Finally, we are escorted to the tanker for an unbelievable 4ish hour flight.

My husband’s job is pretty damn cool. However, as a spouse of a military member, often times jargon and flying lingo don’t mean much to me. It can be hard to appreciate the true aspects of his career among the short term assignments, long days & nights, and the frightening current events that may require his assistance. This ride was one of those friendly reminders that despite the daily  happenings that bog our minds, the pilot lifestyle tops everything.

In case you’re curious, these photos are taken from my iPhone 6 and Panasonic Lumix GM1.

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Could you tell we are excited, even at 8am?
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Inside the KC-135 ready for take off

Take off was similar to that of a commercial airline – except imagine sitting sideways. No windows for reference. Lots of turbulence. That was fun.

Once we were steady in the air, I went up to the cockpit to check out the front view. The pilot pointed out that we were flying over Lake Havasu, AZ.

“Look to your far left,” he said, “do you see them?”

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Cue adrenaline rush. The Vipers!
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I went further back in the plane for a better view.

Because our husbands weren’t refueling today (boo), my friend Heather and I jumped in the boom operator pod early to watch some F-16s refuel. These guys are from a different squadron, thus why the Vipers look a bit different.

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Literally no words.
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As is tradition, selfies were taken.
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Listening to radio calls
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Refueling!!

We all took turns watching the refuel. To my surprise (looking back, I’m not sure why I was), it doesn’t take long at all for refuels to occur. It was a quick experience.

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More F-16s waiting for their turn
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We had a lot of downtime.
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Panorama of the cockpit while waiting for more jets.

The KC-135 refueled 3 different squadrons on base. The second one was our beloved Top Hats (DTK!)

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Top Hat jet that just finished refueling
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One of our guys refueling
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“Hey I know this guy!” I said, so I took a quick photo. You’re welcome, Chris 😀
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Headed back to Phoenix, taken right before we landed.
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The KC-135 – “Wild Thang”

10/10 would do this again. Huge thank you to March ARB and the 310th for help making this possible.

Kisses & Kimchi,

Elizabeth

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