An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

380AEW Article

KC-10 passes 25 years in the AOR

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Chad Warren
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

For two and a half decades, the KC-10 Extender has been refueling U.S. and coalition aircraft from an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

January marked the 25th year of continuous operation for the aircraft from this location, and it is a vital piece in accomplishing Air Force Central Command missions.

“We provide the air bridge between here and [other Central Command locations],” said Senior Master Sgt. Claus, 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron extender superintendent.

According to Claus, the combat aircraft couldn’t reach their destinations to deliver the munitions without the support of the KC-10s from the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron. For example, an F-15E Strike Eagle can refuel 4-5 times to reach its target.

“This is a great location for planning the fuel in the CENTCOM area of responsibility,” said Capt. Todd, 908 EARS assistant director of operations. “We can provide them gas all the way up and take care of them while they are in country as well.”

With such a high operations tempo and in-demand mission, the KC-10 maintainers are deployed here more often than anywhere else.

According to Claus, it isn’t unusual for his Airmen to have 10-15 deployments here. With the Airmen all coming from either Travis Air Force Base, Calif., or Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, that means there is a sense of pride and ownership unusual to a deployed location.

“There’s a lot of history out here for us,” he said. “We are in two different locations in the U.S., but being deployed together so often it’s like we are one big aircraft maintenance unit.”

The unit comprises active duty, reserve and Air National Guard Airmen from eight different units spanning the two bases, embracing the total force concept to the highest degree.

“The total force integration here is the best I’ve seen in the AOR,” said Peris. “The versatility is a huge asset to the mission.”

After 25 years, the KC-10 is still providing crucial fuel to AFCENT combat aircraft.

“We have everything CENTCOM needs to continue getting air power from our space to the battle space,” said Col. Johnny Barnes, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing vice commander.