Thursday, August 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Thunderbirds get helping hand to Travis

refueling_exercise 1

A USAF Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcon nuzzles up to the fueling boom of a Travis KC-10 air tanker to be refueled Thursday while on its way to Travis Thursday to perform in this weekend's air show. (Ian Thompson/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | May 02, 2014 |

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE — It was a perfect day for an air refueling in the skies over western Nevada.

Excellent visibility in a cloudless sky and no turbulence to make refueling the Travis KC-10′s customer aircraft tricky, according to boom operator Master Sgt. Christian Leon.

“It is pretty simple, but it takes a lot of practice,” Leon said of his work while moving the boom into the receiving receptacle on the F-35 Lightning II fighter from Edwards Air Force Base that was nuzzling up behind the KC-10.

It was a lot easier than some of the missions Leon flew while deployed overseas, refueling aircraft in the dead of a moonless night to ensure those aircraft were topped off and able to respond to give whatever support was needed to American service members on the ground.

The Travis KC-10 was one of two sent up Thursday morning, not only to practice refueling each other and the F-35s, but also give the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team the fuel they needed to complete their flight to Travis for this weekend’s two-day air expo, Thunder Over Solano.

The Thunderbirds will perform both days in the afternoon, sharing the day with performances by the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team, almost a dozen civilian aerial acrobatic acts, flybys by both modern and vintage military aircraft, and a host of aircraft static displays. The base’s main gate opens at 9 a.m. both days.

Both of the KC-10s on the Thursday mission contained reinforced aircrews from both the active-duty and Air Force Reserve wings stationed at Travis Air Force Base, what aircraft commander Lt. Col. Jeremy Reeves called a Team Travis mission.

The refueling allowed the Thunderbirds to quickly go into practice runs over the base to check out operating conditions Thursday afternoon without having to refuel on the ground, according to 9th Aerial Refueling Squadron commander Lt. Col. Thad Middleton.

Shortly after the KC-10s refueled the F-35s, the seven Thunderbirds aircraft showed up.

Boom operator Lindy Campbell called the mission to refuel the Thunderbirds for the air show a good one because “they are elite aircraft and don’t come around that often.”

Getting the fighters refueled involved working closely with the pilots of both aircraft to get the receiving plane into position so that the long boom can be connected to a fuel receptacle and pump over however much gas the receiving aircraft needs from the 250,000 pounds of fuel the KC-10 is capable of carrying.

That includes operating a series of lights not too dissimilar to a stop light that indicate whether a receiving aircraft needs to move closer, farther away or shift left or right.

Leon said good eye-hand control is an important attribute for a boom operator so that the refueling can be carried out as quickly and safely as possible.

Visitors to the air show will be able to see the KC-10 on ground display as well as enjoy a flyby both days.

For more information about the Travis air expo Thunder Over Solano, go to www.Facebook.com/TravisOpenHouse.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Potrero Hills Landfill legal appeals exhausted

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Railroad crossing stalemate continues

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 10 Comments

First day back to school brings laughter, jitters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Breakfast after the Bell wins support

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2, 5 Comments

 
Suisun city employees get pay raise

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Fairfield candidates hear about lean, nimble city staff

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

College finalizes police department takeover, OKs bond plan

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Free e-waste collection to benefit Scarlet Brigade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield mayor to appear at GOP dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Girls on the Run seeks volunteer life coaches

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
Weather for Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

US official: More airstrikes in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

Militants use British killer as propaganda

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Governor criticizes new-hire pension enhancements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Police seek mystery pair in selfies after burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

School sorry for making special ed kids sort trash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Teens deny threatening boy in school shooting plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Panel OKs state librarian despite initial concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
8 homes destroyed, 1,500 threatened by wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Drought has state debating its unregulated pumping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Holder says he understands mistrust of police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 5 Comments

Liberian slums barricaded as Ebola sets new record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Ukrainian govt troops take over much of Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 9 Comments

Navy kicks out 34 for nuke cheating

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

 
CHP says officer may face serious beating charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

Tell the story, don’t be it

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7

 
 
We’re spending way too much on raising our kids

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A7

Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
California needs pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Why do parents drink alcohol after their children’s games?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
And the Emmy winners are…? We’re happy to guess!

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Aniston, Hamm, Hudson set to Stand Up to Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Sports

Fairfield boxer Avila set to put perfect 15-0 record on the line

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants win protest, rain-shortened game to resume Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

A’s stumble and must regroup with Angels coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders FB Reece’s injury not as bad as feared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Peavy pitches Giants to 8-3 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
WR Stevie Johnson adds depth to 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Las Vegas spoils Mo’ne’s night, beats Philly 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks F Torres undergoes surgery on right knee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US routs Dominicans in exhibition as Rose rests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Schilling blames chewing tobacco for mouth cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reality check for Phelps at Pan Pacific Champs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kent State starting center dies at 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams seeded No. 1 at US Open; Halep 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart skipping 3rd straight race after Ward’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Sports on TV for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B4

.

Business

BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Apple’s stock bounces back to hit a new high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

David G. Gibson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Charles (Chuck) H. Doty

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9