HomeNewsFeaturesDisplay

9th ARS crew takes on unexpected tasks

A Travis Air Force Base KC-10 Extender flies over Northern California on Feb. 17, 2915. The KC-10 is an Air Mobility Command advanced tanker and cargo aircraft designed to provide increased global mobility for U.S. armed forces.

A Travis Air Force Base KC-10 Extender flies over Northern California on Feb. 17, 2915. The KC-10 is an Air Mobility Command advanced tanker and cargo aircraft designed to provide increased global mobility for U.S. armed forces.

--

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.- The day started like any other for Capt. Shane Ruether, 9th Air Refueling Squadron pilot, and his KC-10 Extender crew of two pilots, one boom operator and one flight engineer. 


The crew was fulfilling the role as an alternate, tasked to sit alert for a presidential support mission, and was prepared to be airborne if it was needed to provide back-up support to a primary KC-10. 

The mission the crew was backing up was a presidential-directed 1A1 mission, operating in direct support of President Barack Obama. 

“Our mission sounded very routine,” said Ruether, the aircraft commander. “It was planned to be low threat.”

The atmosphere in the squadron quickly changed, however, when the crew – about to head home to rest – was told to pack its bags. Its members would leave soon on a last-minute mission to Alaska. 

“We flew up to Alaska, staging out of Eielson Air Force Base,” said Ruether. “We had two KC-10s on the ramp, and we were technically the air spare, meaning that we would take off with the other KC-10, but were only there as a backup in the event that their jet could not transfer fuel to the E-4B.”

The E-4B that Ruether and its crew were tasked to refuel if the primary KC-10 did not take off. This aircraft is part of the National Military Command System for the president, the secretary of defense, and the joint chiefs of staff. 

In case of national emergency or destruction of ground command and control centers, the aircraft serves as a command, control and communications center capable of directing U.S. forces, executing emergency war orders and coordinating actions by civil authorities. 

After the crew was alerted to fly and was at its KC-10, the crew noticed that the primary KC-10 required maintenance. 

“Our crew immediately knew that we were the only jet left to get the job done,” said Ruether.

Quickly, the crew contacted the tanker airlift control center to update it on the situation, assuring the center that the crew was prepared to step up and execute the mission.

“We were able to start engines, get airborne and meet the E-4B on the scheduled track, right on time,” said Ruether. “We offloaded nearly 170,900 pounds.”

When the crew landed back at Eielson, they received unexpected news. 

 “As soon as we were on the ground, we learned that the primary KC-10 had been fixed by the hard working crew chiefs from our crew and that we had received another last-minute 1A1 tasking for the following day,” said Ruether 

The following day, Ruether’s crew and the primary KC-10 crew departed together, meeting a high priority E-3 Sentry. When the crew made contact, the flight engineer Staff Sgt. John Loera ran multiple calculations ensuring that the crew could offload enough fuel to the E-3. 

Completing these calculations quickly and accurately was crucial due to time constraints that the E-3 faced. Even with poor visibility and turbulence, boom operator Airman 1st Class Christiann Naylor was able to offload 109,000 pounds of fuel, ensuring the E-3 would have a successful mission. 

In three days, the crew successfully supported back-to-back 1A1 missions, offloaded 279,900 pounds of mission critical fuel flew for nearly 19 hours.

“This was my first 1A1 mission, and I didn’t really know what to expect,” said 1st Lt. Andrew Kerr, co-pilot for the mission. “The whole crew did great flexing with all of the changes that happened over a five-day period”

Even in challenging situations, Airmen from the 9th ARS support each other. 

“Everyone on the crew kept their morale up, and made sure everyone was enjoying their time during the mission,” Kerr added. “It really showed me the camaraderie we have in the 9th ARS. It was a rewarding experience because it proved how flexible we can be on important missions.” 

Though being initially tasked as an air spare and manned by a young crew, the Airmen from the 9th ARS rose to the challenge, ensuring mission success over multiple days in a challenging, dynamic environment. The 9th ARS crew supplied 100 percent of the fuel to both 1A1 aircraft with a 100 percent reliability and on-time takeoff rate.

Social Media

Facebook Twitter
The Shooting Stars Drones will launch again at around 10:20 p.m. and we will do another live video stream at that time. Thank you for your patience.
#TeamTravis, As we get closer to tonight’s festivities, what part of the celebration are you most looking forward to? In addition, we’ll also be hosting a bounce house, a beer and wine truck, a hotdog and burger food truck, and an on-site DJ. We will also be allowing families to bring in their own food and water as long as the water is in a clear container. Hope to see you all out there!
#DidYouKnow the United States Air Force has a new Airman Against Drunk Driving app available on the App Store and Google Play? Just another way the U.S. Air Force is committed to #NeverDUI
**Edited for clarification*** #TeamTravis, As weather updates continue to come in, the Intel® Shooting Star Drone Light Show show portion may not happen. As of now, the show is still happening, but we're monitoring tomorrow's weather on a minute-to-minute basis and will continue to update you all as we get closer to the event. No matter what, festivities are a go! Airmen and the public are still invited to celebrate with bouncy houses, food trucks, a DJ, and a rock climbing wall! Below are maps to the parking areas and entrance for the event as well as the event location.
Due to forecasted high winds, the scheduled July 3 rehearsal, which was open to DoD ID Cardholders, has been canceled. Please stay tuned for more updates as we monitor the weather for the 4th of July event.
#Repost Visit Fairfield, California -- "There are no active fires near Travis AFB or Solano County. . . . Good morning friends! Solano County photographer James Guzzo was up early for the sunrise and captured these images from our hills. The smoke cloud you can see is from a fire burning in Yolo County. There are no active fires near Fairfield and Solano County. #VisitFairfieldCA"
To all of #TeamTravis and our local community, please be safe! For continued updates, please sign up with alertsolano.com to get them sent straight to your device.
"Anything that is an extension of, what I call, America's power, promise, or ideals, is done through logistics and transportation." --USAF Gen. Darren W. McDew, U.S. Transportation Command commander. Travis #Airmen deliver on that promise...anytime, anywhere. And we're proud it. #NoBounds | #TeamTravis
🎶This is ground control to Major Tom...🎶 Always on the cutting edge, #TeamTravis has recently entered into talks with NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration to establish a research collaboration leading to advances in medical support for deep space missions as well as warfighters. Read more about Travis' potential role in the future of space exploration in the article below. United States Air Force | U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) | Airman Magazine | Air Force Times | AFMS - David Grant USAF Medical Center - 60th Medical Group, Travis AFB | U.S. Military | #NoBounds
Congratulations SMSgt Lucero Stockett, 6th ARS, for being named one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2018! It is a honor to call you a member of #TeamTravis!
This 4th of July, #TeamTravis is partnering with Intel to put on a #patriotic light show with the help of more than 500 individual drones. Check out the video below and visit our event page, Travis AFB 4th of July ft. Intel® Shooting Star Drone Light Show, for a taste of what's to come during next week's jaw-dropping spectacle. United States Air Force | U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) | Airman Magazine | United States | Air Force Times | Military.com | #FourthofJuly ***The DoD does not endorse Intel***
Team Travis Defenders teamed up with #SpecialOlympics athletes to run through Travis AFB and Vacaville, California last week for the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.
A KC-10 crew recetly completed a mission in the pacific refueling fighters supporting Exercise RED FLAG-Alaska and strengthening relationships between the USAF and the Japan Air Self Defense Force. To learn more click on the photos below. #NoBounds | #EngagingGlobally | #GotFuel
Not only is 2018 the 75th anniversary of Travis but also the 9th Air Refueling Squadrons #75thAnniversary. The diverse history of the 9th ARS includes operating in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, flying the F-4U Corsair as well as the P-38 Lightning. Click on one of the photos below to see what it means to wear the 9th ARS patch. #GucciPride | #Universal | #Travis75th
This week we salute SrA Steven Fing for being named the #TeamTravis Warrior of the Week. Fing is a Nondestructive Inspection Technician in the 60th MXS. His leadership skills as a shift leader enabled 22 maintenance acts ensuring 620 sorties. #WoW | #Maintenance
#TeamTravis is kind of a big deal in Fairfield, California! On Tuesday during a city council meeting, leadership received a proclamation from the city in honor of celebrating the 75th anniversary of the base. #Servinglocally | #Travis75th
During a recent KC-10 Extender mission, two flying crew chiefs kept the aircraft serviced enabling it to complete a roundtrip journey of more than 9,000 nautical miles and offloaded more than 200,000 pounds of fuel to eight F-15s. #FueltheFight | #RapidGlobalMobility | #NoBounds
The rumors are true! #TeamTravis is celebrating #IndependenceDay with a special light show featuring the Intel Shooting Star Drones. We are opening our gates to the community for this event. Stay tuned for more information! #NoBounds | #PoweredbySpark | #75thAnniversary | AFWERX | Air Mobility Command | Heather Wilson
Gen. Paul J. Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is no stranger to Travis. He has commanded a squadron and a group here in the past. Last Friday #TeamTravis was honored for him to return to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Travis and the 9th ARS. #Travis75th | #NoBounds Check out more images here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmnD5ga6
#PhoenixSpark, Travis's grassroots innovation program is kindling connections and spreading ideas on their new LinkedIn page! Airmen, community members, and business leaders alike, join the conversation as we deliver tomorrow's tools to the Warfighter today! #PoweredBySpark https://www.linkedin.com/company/travis-afb-phoenix-spark/
RT @usairforce: Today we celebrate 71 years as the world's greatest #AIRPOWER! #Birthday #AFBDay https://t.co/VOY8ixMUlO
#TeamTravis now has their new commander, Col. Jeff Nelson. https://t.co/bmac1rbjxd
Check out our live stream currently on Facebook. #WorkingTowardYes #NoBounds
#TeamTravis Airmen are preparing for Col. Jeff Nelson to assume command. https://t.co/rqj9ARJAML
Rules of engagement: Train the way you fight > Travis Air Force Base > Display https://t.co/cjRNwM2dLT
“You matter”: A look inside Travis’ mental health clinic > Travis Air Force Base > Display https://t.co/1XJSR0l0V9
RT @KCRAMax: Medical response teams from @Travis60AMW are on standby for #HurricaneFlorence. Members of the Critical Care Air Transport Tea…
US Air Force participates in Angel de los Andes https://t.co/pWYPxPb19Z
Like an ICU in the sky, CCATTs assist in transporting critical patients to higher levels of care. Contact us… https://t.co/7iwphVdPV7
At request of civil authorities, four Critical Care Air Transport Teams are preparing to respond. Five Airmen with… https://t.co/aepOTzLPAr
#TeamTravis medical personnel are on stand-by and contingency response Airmen are providing support relief efforts for #HurricaneFlorence.
RT @usairforce: #USAF Reserve #Airmen from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron assisted the @USCG w/ a search & rescue mission, locati…
Update as of 4:00 pm, Sept. 11: both fires are completely contained and extinguished with neither posing an immedia… https://t.co/HWLx28DJkz
We are currently aware of 2 fires in Suisun City, southwest of TAFB. First responders are on scene. Please follow… https://t.co/PdRjA2lG3R
Today #TeamTravis honors the lives that were lost on 9/11 during a #PatriotsDay ceremony. TAPS will play four times… https://t.co/XY50aYnooR
RT @AirmanMagazine: A1C Jason Klaus, 860th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, renders a salute to a C-17 Globemaster III with CMSgt. Steve Nich…
First Sergeant Council: Team effort to care for Airmen, families > Travis Air Force Base > Display https://t.co/LFIp6XQ2SI
Mental health is just as important as physical health. This goes a long way in de-stigmatizing the act of seeking h… https://t.co/iHWgDlFdM0
RT @usairforce: We are just 23 days away from the OCP! @AFCareers is going to help you avoid getting called out for uniform violations! Che…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Enormous thanks to Gen Everhart for his leadership of our mobility enterprise. No doubt, @AirMobilityCmd will continue…