Saturday, December 12, 2015

Refueling a B-2 Bomber

A couple of months ago I got a email from Col Chuck Remboldt, a Commander at the 190th Air Refueling Wing, asking me if I wanted to go a "Orientation Flight". Lately I have been having trouble with dizziness and I have become extremely claustrophobic so flying is not my favorite thing right now.

After finding out more about the flight I agreed.  We would be in a K-135 Stratotanker.  It has plenty of open space and we would be able to walk around.   The plane above which we flew in was made in 1961.  Over 50 years old and still looks and performs great.  A testament to the men and women who maintain them.

Our "ticket to ride" was only validated after an hour long presentation about the history of the National Guard.  I wish I would have heard this presentation 30 years ago because I think joining the National Guard would have serviced me well and help mold that young trouble mind of mine. 

The final step before our refueling mission aboard our K-135 was our safety debriefing.  The Stratotanker does not have those fancy oxygen mask that commercial airlines have so in case of "sudden cabin pressure lose" we would have to put on these fancy oxygen helmets.

On the flight over to meet the B-2 bombers I got to tour around the plane and talk to some other of the civic leaders including Samantha Walker Jones who is the newly elected present of the Lawrence Mountain Bike Club.

The  B-2 bombers took off from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.  We meet them on the Missouri/Kansas boarder and proceeded west across Kansas on our refueling mission.

Col Chuck Remboldt did a great job of answering all our questions.  I do not know what Steve Tilford asked the Colonel but he sure does look passionate answering it.

Art King got to ride with the pilots during our takeoff.  Art is a member of the LMBC and the main man behind the Lawrence River Trails.

Each of us got a chance to crawl down with the Boom operator and "help" fuel the B-2's. 

Facilities were available.  Just flip up the lid and aim well.   Two are available so no waiting.  When you got to go you got to go....

 Here is my little video of the refueling. 

Thank you to Col Chuck Remboldt and the men and women at the 190th Air Refueling Wing for this once in a life time opportunity.