Spokane media witnesses rapid global mobility

(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

A KC-135 Stratotanker flies by the tail of another KC-135 on the flight line of Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., shortly before a mission to refuel the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Oct. 12, 2017. The Thunderbirds were heading to Idaho for an air show. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

Members of the local media pose for a photo with the crew of a 92nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker on the flight line of Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., before an orientation flight where they were able to witness the aerial refueling of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Oct. 12, 2017. The Thunderbirds were heading to Idaho for an air show. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

Staff Sgt. Travis Peirce refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Oct. 12, 2017 over Nevada. Peirce is a boom operator from the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron and a native of Pensacola, Florida. This was his second time refueling the Thunderbirds, who were heading to Idaho for an air show. Previously, Peirce refueled them when they flew to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington for the Skyfest 2017 open house. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

A F-16 Fighting Falcon from the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, flies over Nevada, Oct. 12, 2017. The Thunderbirds recieved fuel from a 92nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 on their way to Idaho for an air show. Previously, Peirce refueled them when they flew to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington for the Skyfest 2017 open house. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, wait to recieve fuel from a 92nd Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker over, Oct. 12, 2017. The Thunderbirds were heading to Idaho for an air show. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

Chief Maser Sgt. Thomas Ireland, 92nd Operations Group superintendent, briefs members of the press before a media orientation flight at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Oct. 12, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

Staff Sgt. Travis Peirce refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Oct. 12, 2017 over Nevada. Peirce is a boom operator from the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron and a native of Pensacola, Florida. This was his second time refueling the Thunderbirds, who were heading to Idaho for an air show. Previously, Peirce refueled them when they flew to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington for the Skyfest 2017 open house. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

Airman 1st Class Jesenia Landaverde photographs the refueling of a F-16 Fighting Falcon from the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Oct. 12, 2017 over Nevada. Airman 1st Class Landaverde is a photojournalist with the 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs office. This was her first time witnessing a refueling in the air. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Journalists from KREM 2 News, KXLY 4 News, the Spokesman Review, The Pacific Northwest Inlander and the Coeur d'Alene Press newspapers boarded a KC-135 and documented the mission highlighting the refueling of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

It was an eye-opening experience for the reporters and journalists.

“I thought the flight was amazing,” said Aaron Luna, KXLY 4 News reporter. “It’s always good to see how Airmen in our community make an impact around the globe.”

A newcomer to Fairchild’s mission, Samantha Wohlfeil, a staff writer for the Pacific Northwest Inlander said, “This was my first time being on base so it was cool to be around the Airmen. When I hear ‘air refueling’ I never knew what that really meant, so it was awesome to witness this mission. Now I have a better understanding of what your Airmen do at Fairchild – it was a great experience.”

The mission took the journalists more than 1,100 miles above Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada where the crew unloaded roughly 25,000 pounds or 3,731 gallons of fuel to the Thunderbirds who were on their way to Boise, Idaho, for the Gowen Thunder Open House and Air Show.

For one Airman, it was an important mission.

“There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing than this,” said Staff Sgt. Travis Pierce, 92nd Operations Support Squadron boom operator. “We get to go on so many different types of missions and this one was unique with the media.”   

Base leadership knows the importance of sharing what Fairchild Airmen do day in and day out to support global deterrence.

“It’s important that we showcase the strategic importance of the KC-135 and Fairchild to our media so they can inform this outstanding community about our various missions,” said Col. Ryan Samuelson, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “We are poised to continue to grow and solidify Fairchild as the Air Force Center of Excellence for Air Refueling Capabilities.” 
    
In the month of September alone, Air Mobility Command transferred 86,622,200 pounds of fuel in support of overseas contingency operations and the KC-135 was a workhorse providing that support.