USAF Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers from Fairchild AFB, airmen, and support equipment, deployed to continue partner support to France as part of Operation Juniper Micron in Spain, September 2018.
The Air Force has supported French operations in Mali and North Africa since 2013, and plans to continue its support while examining more ways to effectively provide support to its allies.
“Combating terrorism is a high priority,” said Maj. Mitchell Richard, assistant detachment commander. “By extending our global reach and supporting NATO allies, we are able to support our joint fighters’ and partners’ anti-terrorism mission.”
The Air Force routinely rotates aircraft in and around the theater in support of operations and exercises, working in close coordination with host nations and support partners.
“They are the lead out there,” said Maj. Jonathan Liard, detachment commander. “Being the support asset, we have a lot of tankers and experience in assisting with this operation by extending their capabilities to project the mission.”
Working with allies as a joint force improves capabilities, enables the ability to build on each other’s strengths, and improves performance in operating together around the globe, Liard added.
The tanker support mission to OJM has returned to Spain following a $4.3 million renovation of the runway, completed in early September.
“Overall our mission is global reach, and we hope to help our allies by extending their flight time that is necessary to complete their mission,” Richard said.
In partnership with NATO, Air Mobility Command will continue to provide the timely movement, positioning and sustainment of forces to enable Rapid Global Mobility, at any time.
Photo caption: Airmen from the 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron load cargo onto a KC-135 Stratotanker at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, September 2018. Mobility Airmen fuel the fight, provide airlift needed for supplies and personnel, and enable versatile and timely effects through contingency response ensuring mission success. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/ Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)