Air War on ISIS: coalition aircraft refuel from US KC-135 over Iraq

Oct 27 2016 - 1 Comment

Take a look at the most beautiful photographs shot from inside U.S. Air Force KC-135s during recent aerial refueling missions over Iraq.

50-year old KC-135 Stratotankers are acting as “force multipliers” over Iraq, refueling coalition aircraft flying in support of Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS.

The following shots were taken during different missions flown by the aerial refuelers of the 340th EARS (Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron), a provisional U.S. Air Force units, equipped with several KC-135R/T tankers and based at Al Udeid, Qatar.

As you can see, U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F Hornets, U.S. Air Force C-17s, F-15E Strike Eagles and E-3A Sentry, as well as French Air Force Rafales were refueled during their combat missions in the last few weeks.

Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fly in formation after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fly in formation after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fly in formation after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fly in formation after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fly in formation after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fly in formation after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A French Air Force Rafale approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A French Air Force Rafale approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A French Air Force Rafale approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A French Air Force Rafale approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A French Air Force Rafale receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A French Air Force Rafale receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 17, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 6, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 6, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 6, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Oct 6, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A pilot from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron prepares to take off in a KC-135 Stratotanker in support of an Operation Inherent Resolve mission over Iraq Oct 6, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A pilot from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron prepares to take off in a KC-135 Stratotanker in support of an Operation Inherent Resolve mission over Iraq Oct 6, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A pilot from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron prepares to take off in a KC-135 Stratotanker in support of an Operation Inherent Resolve mission over Iraq Oct 6, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A pilot from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron prepares to take off in a KC-135 Stratotanker in support of an Operation Inherent Resolve mission over Iraq Oct 6, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator, awaits his receivers for fuel over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator, awaits his receivers for fuel over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet flies off the wing of a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq after refuel Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet flies off the wing of a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq after refuel Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling drogue over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling drogue over Iraq Sept. 28, 2016. Airmen from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refueled U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets over Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. and more than 60 coalition partners work together to eliminate Daesh and the threat they pose to Iraq and Syria.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released)

A C-17 Globemaster III approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker while performing a refueling sortie over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 15, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A C-17 Globemaster III approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker while performing a refueling sortie over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 15, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A C-17 Globemaster III approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker before performing a refueling mission over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 15, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A C-17 Globemaster III approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker before performing a refueling mission over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 15, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a refueling mission over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 16, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a refueling mission over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 16, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A boom operator from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron prepares to refuel an E-3 Sentry while flying in a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 15, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

A boom operator from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron prepares to refuel an E-3 Sentry while flying in a KC-135 Stratotanker over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 15, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

Crewmembers from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron prepare to take off in a KC-135 Stratotanker before performing a refueling mission over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 15, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)

Crewmembers from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron prepare to take off in a KC-135 Stratotanker before performing a refueling mission over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve September 15, 2016. The KC-135 provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Ellis/Released)