Aviation Week & Space Technology

View From A KC-135 Boom: Refueling F-16s Over Afghanistan

Dec 01, 2017

Aviation Week’s Pentagon Editor, Lara Seligman, got a behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. air war in Afghanistan from the back of a KC-135 Stratotanker.   

Discuss this Video 18

on Dec 4, 2017

I have seen Lara Seligman flying in F15, KC135 and others machines; all things I have been dreaming about since I was a teenager (read since more than a couple of decades). Can I be her boyfriend or does she need someone to carry her luggage and share a few hours in flying fantastic planes?

on Dec 4, 2017

Washing windows helps.

on Dec 4, 2017

Doing her lawn for free would probably help as well.

on Dec 4, 2017

I was a KC-135 boom operator for 20 years, and was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to get a ride in an F-16 before my retirement. It's nice to be reminded how very lucky I was to have those experiences. Thank you.

on Dec 4, 2017

BG - I have had the (very) occasional opportunity to be on board a KC-135 as a Civil Air Patrol member. We don't get rides as often as we used to, but find a unit near or on an AFB and contact them. Join up and see if you can't snag a ride.
I have never been in the military but this gives me an opportunity to serve. CAP is considered part of the USAF's Total Force. Check out gocivilairpatrol.com sometime. I'm 15 years in and still having a blast!

on Dec 4, 2017

As a Belgian citizen living in Europe, I have zero chance of ever stepping inside a KC135 or another USAF, US Navy or US Marine plane. I had once the chance to make a 45 minutes flight in a RAF C130J during a Le Bourget meeting, to fly in a B25 and to step inside NASA planes in the USA plus other opportunities. But those were the days before Sep 2001 when security was millions times less restrictive than today. Therefore, I don't regret being an old boy and an old engineer, because today such opportunities are close to impossible. And face it, I am too old for being Lara Seligman's boyfriend.

on Dec 4, 2017

Wonderful to see an airframe nearly as old as the BUFF's still going strong.

on Dec 4, 2017

Heck those F-16's are probably 30 years old. The production line in Ft. Worth was cranking out aircraft when I started my career in the 80's.

on Dec 4, 2017

I do believe the reference was to the KC 135!

on Dec 5, 2017

Hi Ian, yes i guess I should have clarified that with an "are also". The buff and KC-135 are as old as I am. And I'm starting to get up there. :-)

on Dec 4, 2017

This thread badly needs a comment from Ms. Seligman as to her window washing and lawn care needs.

on Dec 4, 2017

Would have been nice if she pointed out that the tanker was manned by citizen airmen from the Arizona Air National Guard.

on Dec 4, 2017

What would you expect from such an unqualified journalist, after that stupid article about the Trump trip impacting the war on terror. BTW did ISIS regain any cities during the trip ... I thought not!

on Dec 4, 2017

This tanker was not manned by citizen airmen from the Arizona Air National Guard. It was an active crew from the 384th ARS out of Fairchild AFB, WA. [source: I am the Boom Operator mentioned]

on Dec 4, 2017

Of course the current KC-135s aren't "Your Grandfather's" KC-135s due to their having been fitted with better engines, among other things. It's hard to believe that the KC-135 airframe that was re-fueling aircraft during my USAF career (1962 - 1966) are still in service.

on Dec 4, 2017

Rhetorical question....has the mother/father of the last K-135 Pilot been born yet?

on Dec 4, 2017

Took off laying in the blister of a 135, damb near lost it when the runway rushed up at me on rotation! Very unique privileged perspective:)

on Dec 11, 2017

Wonderful still photography.

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