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    Same call sign, first flight

    Same call sign, first flight

    Photo By Mark Olsen | U.S. Air Force crew chiefs Senior Airman Robert Cort, front, and Master Sgt. Brittany...... read more read more



    Story by Mark Olsen  

    New Jersey National Guard   

    Seventeen Airmen walked into New Jersey Air National Guard history Oct. 3, 2023.
    The 108th Wing’s 141st Air Refueling Squadron officially flew its first KC-46 Pegasus local sortie.
    Sixteen of the 17 Airmen – pilots, boom operators, and crew chiefs are with the 141st Air Refueling Squadron. A 514th Air Mobility Wing boom operator also participated in the mission.
    The sortie marks the continuing evolution of the New Jersey Air National Guard and specifically, keeping the 108th on the leading edge in aerial refueling.
    “The 108th Wing and the 305th Air Mobility Wing are great partners and the right choice for a KC-46 association,” said Col. Joseph W. Leonard, Deputy Commander, 108th Wing.
    "This association provides the right capabilities, at the right time, anywhere in the world the Air Force needs," he said.
    The KC-46A is the first phase in recapitalizing the U.S. Air Force's aging tanker fleet. With greater refueling, cargo, and aeromedical evacuation capabilities compared to the KC-135, the KC-46A will provide aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and partner-nation receivers. Air refueling increases the speed, range, lethality, flexibility, and versatility of combat aircraft.
    During the mission, the two aircraft refueled F-16 Fighting Falcons and then took turns refueling each other.
    “It’s a two-ship formation with the call signs Hobey 41 and 42,” said Capt. Brandon M. Johnson, a 141st pilot.
    This was the first time the Hobey call sign had been used for a KC-46 sortie.
    The call sign Hobey is a nod to Hobart Amory Hare “Hobey” Baker. Baker, a world-renowned Princeton University athlete, served as the commander with the 141st Aero Squadron during World War I. The 141st, one of the Air Force’s oldest units, is part of the 141st Air Refueling Squadron’s lineage. After Baker’s death, the Princeton Tiger was incorporated into the 141st's squadron insignia. Today, the tiger insignia remains in use by squadron members.
    “The Air National Guard, and more specifically the 108th Wing, is a force multiplier because we provide years of experience and confidence to our partners…whether training next to the Active Duty at home station or side-by-side in battle against an adversary,” said Leonard. “Together the 108th and 305th will continue to excel through our richness and diversification of culture, experience differences, and determination to provide our piece to National Security.”



    Date Taken: 10.03.2023
    Date Posted: 10.03.2023 17:41
    Story ID: 455071

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