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54th ARS seizes ‘Golden State’ opportunity to refuel F-16s

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Trenton Jancze
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 54th Air Refueling Squadron at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, provided air refueling to multiple F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 310th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, at March Air Reserve Base, California July 11-15, 2022.

This mission provided pilots from the 310th FS and 54th ARS to train together in unfamiliar airspace away from home.

“For our instructor corps, it gives us an opportunity to get out there and ‘play to fight',” said Master Sgt. Terrell Frideger, 54th ARS support and readiness flight superintendent. “It helps our teammates and gives air refueling support that we wouldn’t normally do back in Altus.”

The KC-135 crew made 31 air refueling contacts and provided more than 39,000 pounds of fuel during their mission. Airman 1st Class Tyandre Foster, 54th ARS squadron aircrew resource management apprentice, and four Airmen from the 97th Maintenance Squadron supported the mission.

Frideger explained the importance of maintenance and resource management to refueling missions.

“Maintenance is vitally important. They’re the ones that keep the jets going, make sure it’s ready for the next flight, and fix anything on the fly," he said. "The SARM Airman is here learning multi-capable Airman skills, working with maintenance and the boom operators to learn how to maintain and get the aircraft mission ready.”

Foster expressed his appreciation for the crew and their help throughout the mission.

“It was a great experience for me,” he Foster. “I got to learn a lot about the aircraft, from changing the oil to checking the hydraulics, I was very intrigued and grew more appreciation for what the maintenance and crew do. This mission opened my eyes to what a multi-capable Airman can do.”