KC-10 Extender tail #86-0036 receives a traditional water salute as the 514th Air Mobility Wing U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Pillion prepares to fly it to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., following a July 13 ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., that marked the first retirement of 59 Extenders intended for eventual replacement by the KC-46A Pegasus. A total of three KC-10s from the Air Force’s Backup-Aircraft Inventory were congressionally approved for retirement during Fiscal Year 2020. As KC-10s are retired, the 309th AMARG will continue to support the remaining Extenders with parts as they are flown for several years while the KC-46A Pegasus is integrated into Air Mobility Command’s Total Force tanker enterprise. For nearly four decades, the KC-10 has helped secure global reach for America, providing in-flight refueling to U.S. and coalition aircraft, from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to Operation Inherent Resolve. The KC-10 is flown from JBMDL by both the 305th AMW and its associate Air Force Reserve unit, the 514th AMW.
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