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.