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Seymour Johnson tanker crew carries Reserve torch at Rodeo

by Senior Airman Jonathan D. Simmons
Rodeo Public Affairs

6/23/2005 - MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFPN) -- Aircraft at Rodeo 2005 come in many shapes and sizes, but one thing they have in common is their need for a steady supply of fuel.

The 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., is one of nine refueling wings, and the only Reserve refueling wing, competing here. The wing flies the KC-135 Stratotanker.

“This is an opportunity to show our abilities to everyone else and to carry the torch of the Reserve command,” said Capt. Drew McDannold, 916th ARW maintenance team chief.

Captain McDannold said maintenance Airmen have been preparing for Rodeo by holding practice inspections and cleaning and maintaining the aircraft while still flying missions.

The wing’s Airmen have supported operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom along with other air and space expeditionary force deployments.

For many of the Airmen on Captain McDannold’s 10-person team, KC-135 maintenance is a full-time commitment, not just a weekend job.

Though this is the first Rodeo for most of the team, Captain McDannold said he believed their operational experience would take them far in the competition, just as the competition would help enhance their operational ability. (Courtesy of Air Mobility Command News Service)

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