After the Spouses Taxi Rides for the last graduating class, John brought up the Tanker rides again. I thought the Taxi ride was where it's at, but he kept insisting to get me up in a Tanker. For those un-Air Forced... A Tanker is like a flying gas station. The guys will refuel mid-air on long missions so that they can keep going without having to land and go through those shenanigans (Krista's word). In fact I learned the KC135's logo today- "You can't kick @$$ without Tanker gas!" So John went ahead and set it up again (for me). I woke up this morning at 4:00 AM because we had to meet at the base at 5:15 and be at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport where the Guard base is by 6:15 AM! Totally worth it- BTW. There was a pretty big group of us wives, and we loaded up onto the KC135, giddy like little school girls.
Did I mention that it was WAY EARLY. We got to watch the sun rise as we went out to load up on the plane!
I got the opportunity to watch the take off from the Boom pod. The Boom is the nozzle used in refueling and it's in the back of the plane. There is a "Boom Operator" who lays back there and messes with the Joy Stick to navigate the Boom to connect with the jets! Anyway, it was a take off like I've never experienced! We were laying down and as the plane inclined, we felt like we were face planting into the runway! It was pretty cool!
Here's the Boom pod as the operator was doing his thing and one of the girls was watching her hubby refuel about 50 feet away.
I got to see John as he was in the jet RIGHT on the wing of our plane and also him refueling where I could put on the headset and talk to him! He was so close that he waved to me from inside my little window! It was soooooooooooo neat!The long pole coming down from the top of the picture, with the ARIZ-ANG writing is the BOOM. You can see where it goes into the jet and pumps in the gas from the air. It takes much skill, both on the pilot and Boom operator's part to navigate that thing to the perfect spot! Just amazing!
Wave "HI" to John- he's in the front seat!