HomeNewsArticle Display

Pease partners with McConnell, stands up active-duty squadron

Members of the 157th Air Refueling Wing, Pease Air National Guard Base, N. H., stand at parade rest, Oct. 2, 2009, during a ceremony activating the 64th Air Refueling Squadron at Pease. Airmen from Air Mobility Command bases around the globe, including McConnell, recently moved to Pease to form the 64th ARS, the first active-duty unit to return to Pease since 1991. Once the squadron is at full strength, it will have between 120 and 130 members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

Members of the 157th Air Refueling Wing, Pease Air National Guard Base, N. H., stand at parade rest, Oct. 2, 2009, during a ceremony activating the 64th Air Refueling Squadron at Pease. Airmen from Air Mobility Command bases around the globe, including McConnell, recently moved to Pease to form the 64th ARS, the first active-duty unit to return to Pease since 1991. Once the squadron is at full strength, it will have between 120 and 130 members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

Lt. Col. Christopher Leist, right, accepts command of the 64th Air Refueling Squadron form Col. Ron Langford, 22nd Operations Group commander, Oct. 2, 2009, during an activation and assumption of command ceremony at Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H. Colonel Leist will lead the 64th ARS at Pease, while Colonel Langford provides group-level, administrative oversight for the unit from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. This means McConnell will handle personnel issues such as processing performance reports and awards and decorations for the 64th ARS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

Lt. Col. Christopher Leist, right, accepts command of the 64th Air Refueling Squadron form Col. Ron Langford, 22nd Operations Group commander, Oct. 2, 2009, during an activation and assumption of command ceremony at Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H. Colonel Leist will lead the 64th ARS at Pease, while Colonel Langford provides group-level, administrative oversight for the unit from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. This means McConnell will handle personnel issues such as processing performance reports and awards and decorations for the 64th ARS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., Honor Guard members begin the 64th Air Refueling Squadron activation and assumption of command ceremony, Oct. 2, 2009, with a salute during the singing of the national anthem.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Laura Suttles)

Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., Honor Guard members begin the 64th Air Refueling Squadron activation and assumption of command ceremony, Oct. 2, 2009, with a salute during the singing of the national anthem. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Laura Suttles)

Members of the 64th Air Refueling Squadron stand at parade rest during their unit’s activation ceremony, Oct. 2, 2009, at Pease Air National Guard Base, N. H. The history of the 64th ARS dates back to 1942, when it was a troop carrier squadron. Between 1943 and 1952, the unit flew aerial transportation and evacuation missions. From 1953 to 1997, the squadron provided airlift services during the Vietnam War and to Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. It was inactivated in 1997 but re-designated as a refueling squadron in 2002. The squadron was again disbanded in 2008, until its reactivation at Pease. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

Members of the 157th Air Refueling WIng stand at parade rest during their unit’s activation ceremony, Oct. 2, 2009, at Pease Air National Guard Base, N. H. The history of the 64th ARS dates back to 1942, when it was a troop carrier squadron. Between 1943 and 1952, the unit flew aerial transportation and evacuation missions. From 1953 to 1997, the squadron provided airlift services during the Vietnam War and to Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. It was inactivated in 1997 but re-designated as a refueling squadron in 2002. The squadron was again disbanded in 2008, until its reactivation at Pease. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

Members of the 64th Air Refueling Squadron await activation at Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., Oct. 2, 2009. The 64th ARS is the first active-duty unit to return to Pease since 1991. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Laura Suttles)

Members of the 157th Air Refueling Wing await activation at Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., Oct. 2, 2009. The 64th ARS is the first active-duty unit to return to Pease since 1991. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Laura Suttles)

KC-135 Stratotankers from Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., and McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., stand tail to tail Oct. 2, 2009, at Pease. The aircraft served as a backdrop for a military ceremony that stood up the 64th Air Refueling Squadron, the first active-duty Air Force unit to return to Pease since 1991. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

KC-135 Stratotankers from Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., and McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., stand tail to tail Oct. 2, 2009, at Pease. The aircraft served as a backdrop for a military ceremony that stood up the 64th Air Refueling Squadron, the first active-duty Air Force unit to return to Pease since 1991. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

KC-135 Stratotankers from Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., and McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., stand tail to tail Oct. 2, 2009, at Pease. The aircraft were a backdrop for a military activation ceremony that stood up the 64th Air Refueling Squadron. The 64th ARS is the first of three active-duty air refueling squadrons to become associate units to ANG KC-135 Stratotanker wings by September 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

KC-135 Stratotankers from Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., and McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., stand tail to tail Oct. 2, 2009, at Pease. The aircraft were a backdrop for a military activation ceremony that stood up the 64th Air Refueling Squadron. The 64th ARS is the first of three active-duty air refueling squadrons to become associate units to ANG KC-135 Stratotanker wings by September 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Part of McConnell Air Force Base isn't in Kansas anymore. 

Now, a piece of McConnell is in New Hampshire at Pease Air National Guard Base. 

That piece is the 64th Air Refueling Squadron. 

The 64th ARS stood up Oct. 2 at an official military ceremony at Pease. 

It's the first active-duty Air Force unit to return to the Air National Guard base since 1991, when Pease AFB, then an active-duty installation, closed. 

"It's obvious the people of Portsmouth (N.H.) and the surrounding areas are very excited to have the active duty back," said Col. Jamie Crowhurst, commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing who attended the ceremony from McConnell. "It's obvious our folks are excited to be here." 

The 64th ARS is administratively assigned to McConnell but is located with, and gets operational direction from, its host unit, the157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease. This means McConnell handles performance reports, awards and decorations and other administrative functions for 64th ARS members, but the unit's day-to-day mission objectives come from Pease. 

Airmen selected from installations across Air Mobility Command, including McConnell, recently moved to Pease to form the 64th ARS. The squadron will have between 120 and 130 members once everyone is in place. 

The partnership is part of the Air Force's total force integration effort to increase efficiency by combining active-duty, Guard and Reserve resources. The 157th ARW is the first of three ANG KC-135 Stratotanker wings scheduled to host an active-duty associate unit. The 117th Air Refueling Wing in Birmingham, Ala., and the 126th Air Refueling Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., are also projected to have active-duty associates by 2011. 

"The idea was, if we started associating an active-duty unit with a Guard or Reserve unit, we get the benefit of their locations," said Col. Ron Langford, 22nd Operations Group commander. "We get the access to fly their air planes that they keep in fantastic shape, and we get the experience that the Guard and Reserve maintainers bring to a young active-duty force." 

Aircrew, maintenance and support personnel assigned to the 64th ARS work alongside Guardsmen flying and maintaining the 157th ARW's aircraft to accomplish the wing's refueling missions. 

"Our maintainers, our operators, supply personnel, fuel specialists, they can learn so much from the Guard members here, and take that back to the active duty," said Lt. Col. Christopher Colonel Leist, 64th ARS commander who moved from McConnell to lead the squadron. "It's just an amazing opportunity. 

"We can no longer do what we used to do. We can't be a separate active-duty Air Force, a separate Air Force Reserve, a separate Guard. We have to be one total-integrated force. That's what are job here is going to be."