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    121st Air Refueling Wing Helps to Support NATO Mission

    121st Maintenance and Air Crew personnel prepare for NATO aircraft refueling

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Wendy Kuhn | U.S. Air Force Airmen with the 121st Air Refueling Wing Maintenance Group prepare a...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Christi Richter 

    121st Air Refueling Wing

    On November 10th, 2019, 53 members of the 121st Air Refueling Wing in Columbus, Ohio traveled to NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany for two weeks to provide air refueling support for the E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Component.
    The Air National Guard has been in contract with NATO since 1993. Refueling support from ANG tankers is a crucial part of the success of the NATO mission.
    “The Air Guard supports NATO by providing valuable assets to help us fulfill our mission,” said Lt. Col. Max Desmert, an evaluator and instructor pilot for the NATO component. “In addition to that, we get training opportunities because the tankers are dedicated to the component. This facilitates a dynamic flying environment and helps us to train our crews to be operationally ready.”
    The contract with the ANG ensures NATO has access to consistent and dependable refueling.
    “With the Air National Guard you have more than 26 years of continuity and training capability that we provide NATO so they can have a reliable and consistent product,” said Lt. Col. Cal Carleton, the Air National Guard Liaison Officer in Geilenkirchen. “And so as part of the arrangement we are able to bring them a quality product at a fraction of the cost of anywhere else that they’d be able to receive those services.”
    Air National Guard refueling wings provide approximately 619 flying hours and 6,480,000 pounds of jet fuel to the E-3A component annually.
    “It is very important that we continue working with the ANG,” said Desmert. “They give us outstanding support in regards to the air capabilities that they provide. We can ask for support any time, any day, for any mission and we can execute our training and fulfill our operations.”
    19 different Air National Guard units from around the country are involved in the NATO contract. This strong and beneficial partnership has contributed to the success of NATO for over 26 years, and will hopefully continue long into the future.
    The highly trained Airmen of the 121 ARW are proud to partner with our NATO allies by providing refueling capabilities for the E-3A AWACS mission. Our unit's #1 priority is readiness and we abide by our mission statement- ‘All things, at all times.’


    Date Taken: 11.25.2019
    Date Posted: 12.05.2019 08:53
    Story ID: 354038
    Location: OHIO, US

    Web Views: 176
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