Tinker Air Force Base is celebrating its 45th anniversary with the 507th Air Refueling Wing. The 507th is an Air Force Reserve Command Unit. News 9’s Tiffany Liou joined a crew on a training mission Friday.
Colonel Mike Morrisett piloted the KC-135R Stratotanker with Lieutenant Colonel Ben Evans.
Morrisett has flown this wing for almost 26 years. Friday’s flight was one of his last since he’s being promoted in the near future. Morrisett is with the 507th Air Refueling Wing part-time, and flies commercially for Delta Airlines.
Evans is also a long-time pilot, experienced with the KC-135 for 14 years. He is also a pilot for this full-time job with American Airlines.
Their boom operator was Technical Sergeant Bobby Jackson. He’s been operating for over five years. Jackson was once an officer, guarding the planes. He decided to join instead of watching from the sidelines.
Their job is to refuel other aircrafts. Friday, they practiced on the largest plane in the United States Air Force, the C5 Galaxy. Although they are a reserve unit, they train like they are active duty.
“You have to stay proficient at it. It’s very important,” said Col. Morrisett.
The KC-135 can haul 200,000 pounds of fuel. It can offload 6500 pounds per minute to a receiving aircraft.
“It’s what I wanted to do when I was a little kid, fly airplanes,” said Lt. Col. Evans. These three are living out their dreams while proudly serving the country.