News: Fairchild captain pilots KC-135 combat air refueling missions for OEF
Story by Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Capt. Brittany Gilmer is a KC-135R Stratotanker pilot deployed to the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan.
Gilmer is deployed from the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, 92nd Air Refueling Wing, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. According to its wing Web site, the 92nd ARW provides global reach airpower and deploys expeditionary forces in support of worldwide combat, contingency and humanitarian requirements. The wing operates 36 KC-135 aircraft performing air refueling, airlift and aeromedical evacuation missions supporting U.S. and coalition contingency operations and U.S. Transportation Command strategic deterrence missions.
As a KC-135 pilot with the 376th AEW, Gilmer supports combat air refueling missions in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility and for Operation Enduring Freedom.
According to her official Air Force job description as a tanker pilot, Gilmer pilots tanker aircraft and commands crews to accomplish air refueling, airlift, training and other missions. She plans and prepares for missions, reviews mission tasking, intelligence and weather information, and supervises mission planning, preparation and filing of flight plans and crew briefings.
The job description also states that tanker pilots like Gilmer ensure aircraft are pre-flighted, inspected, loaded, equipped and manned for missions. In addition to piloting the aircraft and commanding the crew, he operates aircraft controls and equipment and performs, supervises, or "directs navigation, in-flight refueling and weapons delivery."
Furthermore, Gilmer conducts and supervises training of crewmembers, ensures the operational readiness of the crew by conducting or supervising mission specific training, and develops plans and policies, monitors operations, and advises commanders. He also assists commanders and performs staff functions related tanker pilot duties.
Every time she flies the KC-135, the job description also shows that she must maintain mandatory job knowledge in the theory of flight, air navigation, meteorology, flying directives, aircraft operating procedures and mission tactics.
According to statistics from the Air Forces Central's Combined Air Operations Center in Southwest Asia, from January to July 2010, air refueling aircraft off-loaded more than 596 million pounds of fuel to more than 46,000 aircraft in the USCENTCOM area of responsibility.
Additionally, according to 376th AEW Public Affairs, the Transit Center at Manas was activated in December 2001 when coalition forces deployed to Manas International Airport and began supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The base continues to promote regional stability in Central Asia.