Tag Archives: 100th Air Refueling Wing

Cockpit footage from Rafale over Mali

The French Ministry of Defense has been releasing some really interesting footage of French forces in action in Mali.

On Feb. 15 cockpit footage of a Rafale taking off and what appears to be a backseater in a two seat Rafale searching for targets using a targeting pod was released.

The footage finishes with two Rafale taking on fuel from a US Air Force KC-135 of the 100th Air Refueling Wing, normally based at RAF Mildenhall (UK) but are operating out of Moron airbase Spain.

Richard Clements for the TheAviationist.com

Rafale Cockpit

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Michigan ANG KC-135s at RAF Mildenhall to support local tanker force (currently deployed all over the world)

Two KC-135T tankers, belonging to the Michigan Air Natioanl Guard’s 127th Wing, from Selfridge Air National Guard Base, arrived at RAF Mildenhall, following a recent deployment to Geilenkirchen.

On Sept. 14, the first KC-135, serialled 60-0345, arrived in the UK to collect spare parts for the other plane, 59-1512, that was unserviceable at Geilenkirchen.

Noteworthy, both aircraft were initially scheduled to depart Geilenkirchen heading back to Selfridge after the problem on the second tanker had been fixed.

However, since most of the local-based 100th Air Refueling Wing Stratotankers are currently deployed abroad (it’s still unclear whether the Mildenhall tankers were detached to support the deployment of special operations planes that followed the Benghazi attack), the two aerial refuelers stopped over in the UK on their way back to strenghten the U.S. European tanker force and support some deployments across the Pond.

Indeed, on Sept. 18, both Michigan ANG KC-135s launched to refuel some B-1Bs over the Atlantic Ocean, one of the routine missions of the 100th ARW.

According to local spotters, only 59-1512 is still supporting Coronet deployments from RAF Mildenhall.

Image credit: Tony Lovelock

The story behind this stunning B-1 photo: "RAMA 81 Heavy" across the pond

The following image was taken from a KC-135 tanker on Jul. 31, 2012.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

It shows a B-1B as it crosses the Atlantic Ocean on its way to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The aircraft (#85-0064) had taken off from RAF Mildenhall as “Rama 81 Heavy” along with Quid 63, an accompanying tanker of the local-based 100th Air Refueling Wing.

The “Bone” had arrived in the UK on Jul. 11, when an avionics failure forced the U.S. Air Force bomber to divert to Mildenhall.

Interestingly, on Jul. 31, the return trip to Dyess was delayed by another KC-135 that experienced an emergency during an air-to-air refueling sortie over Germany.

Here’s an audio file of RAMA 81 talking with Gander to coordinate a weather deviation and rendez vous with the tanker approaching the East Coast.

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