Day: June 25, 2023

U.S. Air Force honors 100 years of aerial refueling with global flyover events Tuesday June 27

June 25, 2023

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ — The U.S. Air Force is celebrating 100 years of Air Refueling, and the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. will embark on aerial refueling demonstrations with mission partners throughout the United States and overseas on Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The United States Air Force invites the American public to join to observe flyovers of our air refuelers above communities across the country and around the world, honoring 100 years of aerial refueling excellence.

The flyover will begin with one KC-135, 8 KC-46s, and 6 C-17s departing from the 305th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The route of flight will be visible from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania Landmarks. There will be two formations flying the route, approximately 20 minutes apart, and approximate local times are: 

New York: (Updated Flight Path)

Ithaca 1:23 PM

Buffalo 1:43 PM

Niagara 1:51 PM

Rochester 2:01 PM

Syracuse 2:14 PM

Albany 2:34 PM

New Jersey: 

1:03 p.m. Asbury Park, NJ

1:10 p.m. Barnegat Light, NJ

1:17 p.m. Atlantic City NJ

1:25 p.m. Cape May, NJ

1:42 p.m. Philadelphia Airport

Please note these times are subject to change due to potential mission requirements.

With weather in mind, please continue to monitor any updates on the Facebook page:

With 100 years of experience, today’s U.S. Air Force air refueling capabilities deliver unrivaled rapid global reach for U.S. forces and our Allies and partners through the mobility air forces fleet of KC-46, KC-135 and KC-10 tankers. Aerial refueling serves as a force multiplier, increasing the speed, range, lethality, flexibility and versatility of combat aircraft. Tankers also carry cargo and passengers, perform aeromedical evacuations, and enable strategic deterrence for the United States.

“Air refueling propels our Nation’s air power across the skies, unleashing its full potential,” said Gen. Mike Minihan, Air Mobility Command commander. “It connects our strategic vision with operational reality, ensuring we can reach any corner of the globe with unwavering speed and precision. Air refueling embodies our resolve to defend freedom and project power, leaving an indelible mark on aviation history.”

Innovation and tenacity, hallmark characteristics of Airmen throughout the service’s history, delivered the game-changing capability, once deemed impossible.

In the continued pursuit of advanced capabilities and increased endurance, U.S. Army Air Service aviators pulled off the impossible on June 27, 1923. On that day, 1st Lt. Virgil Hine and 1st Lt. Frank W. Seifert, flying a DH-4B, passed gasoline through a hose to another DH-4B flying beneath it carrying Capt. Lowell H. Smith and 1st Lt. John P. Richter, accomplishing the first aerial refueling.

One hundred years later, the United States Air Force celebrates these Airmen’s tenacity and innovative will that is still thriving in Airmen’s spirits today. 

This critical capability is essential for the Department of Defense’s most vital missions. To remain relevant in the current and future security environments, the Air Force is in the process of recapitalizing its tanker fleet with the ongoing acquisition of the KC-46A and accelerating its pursuit of the next-generation air refueling system (NGAS), announced in March – propelling forward the capability developed and entrusted to Airmen a century ago.

“As we embark on the next 100 years of air refueling, we will continue to strengthen our air mobility excellence,” said Minihan. “We must leverage the remarkable capabilities of air refueling to preserve peace, protect freedom, and bring hope to the world. As Mobility Airmen, we write the next chapter of air refueling.”

Air Mobility Command salutes the visionaries who challenged the status quo of yesteryears while we inspire the next generation of dreamers and out-of-the box thinkers for the challenges ahead. file photos