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Photo essay: KC-10 maintainers conquer the night shift

Senior Airman Justin Lassiter, a KC-10 Extender aerospace propulsion journeyman deployed with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, reaches into a toolbox while working a night shift at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. Here he is pictured on Jan. 31, 2010.  His primary mission is to fix and maintain KC-10 aircraft engines and systems. He is on his third deployment with the 380th EAMXS. Airman Lassiter is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Wilson, N.C. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

Senior Airman Justin Lassiter, a KC-10 Extender aerospace propulsion journeyman deployed with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, reaches into a toolbox while working a night shift at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. Here he is pictured on Jan. 31, 2010. His primary mission is to fix and maintain KC-10 aircraft engines and systems. He is on his third deployment with the 380th EAMXS. Airman Lassiter is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Wilson, N.C. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

Senior Airman Justin Lassiter, KC-10 Extender aerospace propulsion journeyman deployed with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, looks over the engine of a KC-10 at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. His primary mission is to fix and maintain KC-10 aircraft engines and systems. He is on his third deployment with the 380th EAMXS. Airman Lassiter is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Wilson, N.C. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

Senior Airman Justin Lassiter, KC-10 Extender aerospace propulsion journeyman deployed with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, looks over the engine of a KC-10 at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. His primary mission is to fix and maintain KC-10 aircraft engines and systems. He is on his third deployment with the 380th EAMXS. Airman Lassiter is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Wilson, N.C. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

Airman 1st Class Garret Coleman, a KC-10 Extender maintenance Airman with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, looks through a toolbox while working on the flightline at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia on Jan. 31, 2010.  Airman Coleman is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Springfield, Mo.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

Airman 1st Class Garret Coleman, a KC-10 Extender maintenance Airman with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, looks through a toolbox while working on the flightline at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia on Jan. 31, 2010. Airman Coleman is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Springfield, Mo. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

Senior Airman Clinton King, a KC-10 Extender maintenance Airman with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, grabs tools from a tool box while working on a KC-10 on the flightline at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia on Jan. 31, 2010.  Airman King is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Youngsville, N.C.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

Senior Airman Clinton King, a KC-10 Extender maintenance Airman with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, grabs tools from a tool box while working on a KC-10 on the flightline at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia on Jan. 31, 2010. Airman King is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Youngsville, N.C. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

Airman 1st Class Garret Coleman is a KC-10 Extender maintenance Airman with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. Here he is pictured on Jan. 31, 2010.  Airman Coleman is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Springfield, Mo.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

Airman 1st Class Garret Coleman is a KC-10 Extender maintenance Airman with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. Here he is pictured on Jan. 31, 2010. Airman Coleman is deployed from the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and his hometown is Springfield, Mo. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- KC-10 Extender maintenance Airmen assigned to the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron work shifts around the clock keeping the Air Force's largest air refueling tanker flying every day.

From a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia, KC-10s fly combat air refueling missions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  In the chain of Air Force aircraft maintenance professionals, there are maintenance officers, production supervisors, flight chiefs, expediters, crew chiefs, engine mechanics and more who operate every day meeting the deployed mission for the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
 
In this photo essay, see how some of KC-10 maintenance Airmen are conquering the night shift to deliver that combat air refueling capability for the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. Overall, the 380th AEW is comprised of four groups and 12 squadrons and the wing's deployed mission includes air refueling, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of overseas contingency operations in Southwest Asia.