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Yesterday my FEMA team participated in a "fly-away" drill. Of course, in typical government fashion, we did not actually fly away due to time constraints. Go figure. However, we did get a tour of a very cool Air Force plane. This particular plane is a KC-135 Stratotanker that was built in 1958. The KC-135 planes sometimes operate as cargo planes (they could possibly fly us to our destination if we were required to deploy by air), but their main purpose was/is to re-fuel airplanes in the air. According to the pilot, they expect the plane to last another 25 years or so. Wow! For more information on this cool plane, click on this link:
http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=110

Here's a photo of our team in front of the plane. You can barely see my dog because he blends in pretty well with our dark uniforms - he's the black lab sitting between the two yellow ones. And, for anybody who isn't familiar with FEMA USAR, you can see that the dogs are a very small part of our large search and rescue unit. We have technical and heavy rescue personnel, medical professionals, a veterinarian, drivers, logistics personnel, technical search specialists, etc. etc. Also, the group of people shown are just the folks who could participate in this drill. Our total # of personnel is at least double what you see here. We also have quite a few more dogs than this.
 

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Being a retired Air Force "ramp rat", I'm very familiar with the KC 135, our marvelous flying gas station. It, like the B52 bomber are older than most of the pilots flying them. I've flown on them, although I was never lucky enough to be aboard during an inflight refuel. That would have been a treat. Other than noiseier, less comfortable seating and the lack of inflight adult beverages, there isn't much difference between those and commercial flights. I'm sure you had a fun and interesting day however. Off we goooooo into the wild blue yonder, etc, etc.


DFrost
 

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Yeah, those older planes are amazing. My dad was a radar navigator in B52s and was a 30-year Air Force guy...when he took his last command at Tinker Air Force Base in 1986, I remember driving onto the base for the first time...there was a big retired B-52 at the main entrance (Becky, you will know the one I'm talking about) that he had flown in 1973. Kind of depressing for him. :lol: and he had his retirement ceremony in 1993 under the wing of that plane.

But those B-52s will be in the inventory for another good 20-30 years...nearly 100 years in total (I think they first deployed in 1958). The KC-135s are awesome, too. Nice testament to getting a good return on our tax dollars. C0130s are another nice example of an amazingly old plane that continues to be adapted for everything. I don't know how they keep these things in the air, but they do.

Sounds like you had a fun day. If you are ever in the Tucson area, try to see the Bone Yard at Davis Montham Air Force base...hundreds and hundreds of old mothballed planes sitting out in the desert. It's pretty amazing.
 

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ooh aircraft! - nice picture! I went down from Cold Lake, Alta to Edwards AFB on a KC 135 many years ago for TD. I am retired CAF so I just love these kind of pics. I can catch a nice whiff of JP-4....

Konnie your dog really does "cam" very well with all the dark uniforms, I could barely find him.
 

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Great pic!
I didn't even see your dog till Lynn commented on him. On closer inspection, I did see his collar. :D :wink:
 

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Konnie unlucky girl :(
The advantage of having a smal SAR K9 team here is that at least we get to fly the C-130's and the Dolphin Helicopters. Great for checking out the beaches :wink: :wink:
Check my website, haven't worked out how to get these pics on this post.

Robert
 
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