On a dreary grey day in late June, Joint Base McGuire-Dix Lakehurst (JB MDL) sadly mentioned goodbye to a real U.S. Air Pressure legend and workhorse.
Tail quantity 84-0188, considered one of sixty KC-10s that has served within the U.S. Air Pressure, departed JB MDL, certain for Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and its future residence on the 309th Aerospace Upkeep and Regeneration Group, referred to as the “Boneyard” on Jun. 22, 2023.
It has been a monumental and nearly 30-year profession for the KC-10 Extender on the New Jersey base, beginning again in 1994 with tail quantity 79-0434, arriving on the base. At peak utilization, McGuire noticed thirty-two KC-10’s assigned to their fleet, serving throughout that point as a trustworthy “mission companion” to its aircrew and maintainers.
On Jun. 21, at some point previous to the ultimate departure of 84-0188, the Joint Base carried out a ceremony the place lots of of Airmen and Airwomen gathered to rejoice the “Retiring of a Legacy”. The keynote speaker on the occasion was Lt. Gen. James A. Jacobson, deputy commander of the Pacific Air Forces. Lt. Gen. Jacobson who flew KC-10’s beforehand was one of many pilots making up the mission crew for the flight to Davis-Monthan. In his keynote speech, Lt. Gen. Jacobson talked about that the legacy of the KC-10 Extender is related to “Projecting America’s airpower, standing watch over America and delivering hope”.
Upon reviewing a few of the statistics belonging to tail quantity 84-0188, you’ll start to understand the unbelievable versatility and utility of this airframe. This Extender has flown a complete of 33,017 flight hours supporting fight and worldwide missions in six out of seven continents. The plane refueled over 125,000 U.S. and coalition receivers from twenty-five completely different nations. Throughout its service life almost 11,000 aircrew members have flown this plane and over 12,000 maintainers have saved this plane airborne.
The listing of navy operations this KC-10 has served is equally spectacular. It has been concerned in conflicts since Operation Eldorado Canyon towards Libya in 1986. It was instrumental in supporting the International Conflict on Terror, Operation Allies Refuge and the Kabul evacuation in August 2021. NATO efforts within the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, in addition to to safe lasting defeat of ISIS with Operation Inherent Resolve, and Operation Noble Eagle, navy operations associated to homeland safety of the USA and Canada.
“It would take the work of a number of plane in an effort to equal the capabilities of 1 single KC-10”, says Lt. Col. Adam Waite, a 15 yr veteran, of the KC-10 with 3500 hours within the jet, at the moment with the 78th Air Refueling Squadron on the Joint Base. Lt. Col. Waite will sorely miss the KC-10, because the 78th ARS is now flying the KC-10’s alternative, the KC-46 Pegasus.
Ultimately, Lt. Col. Waite’s phrases ring true. The KC-10 can carry greater than 356,000 kilos of gas, (nearly twice as a lot because the KC-135, and almost 170,000 kilos of cargo, which almost equals the C-17. The closing notes on the 2 day “KC-10 Departure Ceremony” occasion booklet sum it up completely, “There isn’t a nook of the globe left untouched by the legacy of America’s International Extender”.