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Photo's made at Geilenkirchen.

More background information is available too.

KC-135E, 108 ARW, New Jersey Air National Guard

Thanks to PIO J. Hijmenberg of Geilenkirchen.
These 2 beautiful KC-135's dropped out of the sky at this Monday morning. They arrived for their 2 week deployment to Geilenkirchen.

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Background information

In Germany, Northwest of Cologne, Geilenkirchen is the main operating air base of the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force's E-3A aircraft. The E-3A's are used as a flying surveillance and control platform with additional forward operating bases in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Norway. The E-3's report to 2 NATO commanders: Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT).

Since 2 years, air-to-air refueling is practiced with support of KC-135 aircraft of the US Air National Guard. For 2 weeks, 2 aircraft of an Air National Guard unit will stay at Geilenkirchen  to practice the refueling. On Monday the KC-135's arrive and they will leave on Friday one week later. The next Monday, 2 new KC-135's will arrive for their 2 weeks of duty.

Personnel from the ANG units served previously in the USAF and serve now in the ANG unit of their state one weekend per month and 2 weeks at a time per year. The rest of their time they have a 'normal' job in the civilian world. Each state has its National Guard commanded by the governor of the state. In times of conflicts, the command is handed over and the units become an integral part of the USAF.

On Monday morning 30th of March 1998, 2 KC135 E's (57-1464, 58-0111) from the 108th Air Refueling Wing from the New Jersey Air National Guard touched down at Geilenkirchen, to start their 2 week deployment. The 108th ARW is based at McGuire AFB, the wing consists of 2 squadrons: 141 ARS and 150 ARS, each with 10 tankers. After an Air Force wide force structure change, the 141 ARS and 150 ARS formed the 108th ARW in 1993.

At the end of June, they will be back for another 2 week deployment.

Credits: 108 ARW PIO, Geilenkirchen PIO.

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