Thursday, March 5, 2015
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 [email protected] 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

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Show resilience in the face of adversity

    By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

     
    Students sample industry choices during school career fair

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Real McCoy II Ferry set for maintenance

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

     
    Vacaville police slate annual awards ceremony

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

    Limited damage to apartment from carport fire

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Red Carpet Gala to benefit theater foundation

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

    Pet remembrance event set in Vallejo

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

     
    Friday concert benefits Families Helping Families

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield OKs $54,467 consultant pact after the fact

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

    Vallejo police arrest 4 in connection with 3 killings

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
    National Red Cross Month celebrates heroes

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Il Fiorello schedules citrus class

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Jury convicts ex-con who served as own lawyer

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

     
    Suisun City police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Fairfield police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

    Justices sharply divided over health care law subsidies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    ‘It was him': Defense admits Tsarnaev bombed Boston Marathon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    More mutilated animals found in California’s capital city

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    California lawmaker pushes child care worker vaccinations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Children in Southern California breathing easier, study says

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Failures by 3 governments preceded homeless man’s death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Second Los Angeles hospital reports ‘superbug’ infections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    A defiant Alabama regains ground against gay marriage

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    How much sugar is in that? 7 foods with added sugar

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Obama signs Homeland Security funding bill into law

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    House panel issues subpoena for Clinton’s personal emails

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Fossil jaw sheds light on turning point in human evolution

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Feds: Evidence backs Ferguson officer’s account in shooting

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Microsoft co-founder says he found sunken Japan WWII warship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Italy rescues more than 1,000 migrants at sea; 10 perish

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Coal mine blast kills at least 24 in war-torn east Ukraine

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    .

    Living

    Today in History: March 5, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: March 5, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: March 5, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    I can’t tell if I still want to be married, or just don’t want to be alone

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    DiCaprio partners with Netflix for series of documentaries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ tops MTV Movie Awards nominations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Glen Campbell children fighting wife’s control of affairs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Posey has 2-run double in Giants’ 9-2 loss to A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Local report: Vanden softball slips by Rodriguez with late run

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

    Curry shoots Warriors to 102-93 victory over Bucks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    NFL stadium supporters in LA suburb file ballot paperwork

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Alex Johnson, AL batting champ in 1970, dies at age 72

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Goodell: NFL responsible for Super Bowl seating problems

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Former player Nate Jackson calls for NFL to allow marijuana

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Phoenix to install tire barriers before NASCAR visit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Pirelli sticks with same tire choices for first 4 F1 races

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP Source: Peyton Manning returning for 18th NFL season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    NCAA reports big jump in home runs with new flat-seam ball

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    MLS, players agree in principle to 5-year deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Prosecutors can’t bring up Florida shooting in ex-NFLer case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Vikings agree to trade Cassel to Bills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Scott opens a season of change at Doral

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    ‘It WAS him': Defense admits Tsarnaev bombed Boston Marathon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    With Peterson’s status in question, Vikings pay a visit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Thelma A. Roche

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Cesar Luis Garcia-Regalado

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Rodolfo Landabora Porquez

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Aaron D. Malave

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9