The United States Air Force will celebrate 100 years of aerial refueling on June 27, 2023, with a series of flyovers across the country. The flyovers will feature a variety of aircraft, including KC-135, KC-46, and C-17 tankers.
The flyovers will begin in New Jersey, where a formation of aircraft will depart from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and fly over landmarks in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
The flyover from the 305th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and will be visible from Asbury Park at 1:03 p.m., Barnegat Light at 1:10 p.m, Atlantic City at 1:17 p.m., Cape May at 1:25 p.m., and Philadelphia Airport at 1:42 p.m.
The route of flight will also be visible from Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Niagara and Buffalo, Jamestown, and Ithaca.
In addition to the flyovers in the Northeast, there will be other flyovers taking place across the country. These include flyovers in California, Texas, Florida, and Hawaii.
The flyovers are a way for the Air Force to thank the American people for their support over the past 100 years. They are also a chance to showcase the Air Force’s technological capabilities and its commitment to national security.
“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.”
The flyovers are a fitting way to celebrate the Air Force’s 100th anniversary. They are a reminder of the Air Force’s proud history and its commitment to protecting the United States.
Aerial refueling is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another in flight. This allows aircraft to stay in the air longer and travel farther than they would be able to on their own. Aerial refueling is a critical capability for the Air Force, as it allows it to project power around the world.
The first aerial refueling was performed on June 27, 1923, by two U.S. Army Air Service Airco DH-4s. Since then, aerial refueling has become an essential part of military aviation.
The Air Force currently operates a fleet of KC-135, KC-46, and C-17 tankers. These tankers are used to refuel a variety of aircraft, including fighters, bombers, and transports.
Aerial refueling is a complex and dangerous operation. However, it is a critical capability that allows the Air Force to perform its mission.
The Air Force is committed to maintaining its aerial refueling capabilities. The service is currently in the process of recapitalizing its tanker fleet with the KC-46A. The Air Force is also working on developing the next-generation air refueling system (NGAS).
The NGAS will be a more capable and efficient tanker than the KC-46A. It is expected to enter service in the early 2030s.
The Air Force is confident that aerial refueling will continue to be a critical capability for the service in the years to come.