A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a special social media event with Hoosier PRSA and Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana. Yesterday, we went up in a KC-135R Stratotanker on a mission to refuel several C-17s along the Appalachian Mountains (WV, VA, NC, SC, & GA). We had the opportunity to lay down in the pit with the boom operator and sit in the cockpit with the pilots. It was an amazing experience! I’ll let the pictures and videos speak for themselves (see the Roll Call at the bottom of this post for links).
Fun facts I learned about Grissom Air Reserve Base and the 434th Air Refueling Wing:
- Grissom is an alternate landing site for the space shuttle.
- There are no parachutes aboard a KC-135; it’s actually safer to go down with the bird!
- The KC-135s were built from 1957-1965 and are expected to run for another 40-50 years!
- A KC-135 is essentially the same frame as a Boeing 707.
- The KC-135 can reach speeds of 600 mph and can travel about 5,000 miles.
- With 16 KC-135s, the 434th ARW at Grissom is the largest air refueling wing in the Air Force Reserves.
- The 434th ARW averages six refueling missions daily, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see many KC-135s on the ground at base.
- Grissom puts about $100 million annually into the local economy, which is huge for a rural area of Indiana!
- Grissom has a major global impact, too. In addition to providing aerial refueling to the nation’s defense aircraft, reservists from Grissom are currently deployed around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Grissom was an Air Force Base until 1994 when a realignment changed it to a Reserve base, but it is still alive and well!
- The base, originally Bunker Hill Naval Air Station, has been around since WWII.
|MobileMe Gallery (all photos and videos): http://gallery.me.com/cassiedull#100051|
|Facebook Album: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2103083&id=21104982|
|Facebook Video: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=575391813242|
|YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyOLN9mhipI|