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An air-to-air close-up view from the boom operator's window of an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft refueling

Front view of a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft being refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft in flight, as seen from the boom operator's section. The Stratofortress is carrying AGM-109 Tomahawk air-launched cruise missiles

A view from the boom operator's position of a B-1 aircraft, in its new camouflaged paint scheme, being refueled by a KC-135A Stratotanker aircraft

A refueling boom operator, checking her console, aims the refueling boom at an approaching aircraft

The boom operator keeps an eye on the boom of this KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, from the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, as a California Air National Guard F-106A Delta Dart aircraft prepares to refuel

Front view of an F-14 Tomcat aircraft being refueled by a tanker aircraft in flight, as seen from the boom operator's section

The boom operator aboard a KC-10A Extender aircraft

An air-to-air top view of a C-141B Starlifter aircraft, from the boom operator's section of a KC-10A Extender aircraft, after release from the tanker aircraft over mountains

Front view of a B-1 bomber aircraft being refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft over the water off the California coast, as seen from the boom operator's section, during testing and evaluation. The Stratotanker is assigned to the 22nd Bomb Wing

Visitors view the boom operator's station in the rear of a KC-10 Extender aircraft during a static display

AN air-to-air front view of an A-7 Corsair II aircraft heading toward a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft for refueling, as seen from the boom operator's section of the tanker, during exercise Sentry Castle '81. The Corsair is from the 112th Tactical Fighter Group, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, and the Stratotanker is from the 147th Air Refueling Squadron

Front view of an SR-71 Blackbird aircraft in-flight during testing. The aircraft, from the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, is seen from the refueling boom operator's section

An air-to-air front view of an SR-71 Blackbird aircraft being hooked up with a KC-10 Extender aircraft for refueling during testing. The aircraft, from the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, is seen from the refueling boom operator's section

Front view of an SR-71 Blackbird aircraft approaching a KC-10 Extender aircraft for in-flight refueling during testing. The aircraft, from the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, is seen from the refueling boom operator's section

Top view of a Royal Australian Air Force F-111 aircraft being refueled in flight by a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron during exercise Kangaroo '81, as seen from the refueling boom operator's position

View from the boom operator's position of an F-15A Eagle aircraft being refueled by a KC-10A Extender aircraft

An overhead front view of an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft being refueled by a KC-10A Extender aircraft as seen from the boom operator's position

An overhead front view of a KC-10A Extender aircraft as seen from the boom operator's position of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft

A front view, from the boom operator's section of a Royal Australian Air Force F-111 aircraft maneuvering into position for refueling by a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. The KC-135 is en route from Guam to Darwin Royal Australian Air Force Base, Australia, as part of Exercise Glad Customer '82

An air-to-air view from the boom operator's window of an FB-111 bomber being refueled

An in-flight view from the boom operator's window of the refueling connection of a KC-135A Stratotanker aircraft refueling a KC-135R Stratotanker

A view of a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft being refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft in flight, as seen from the boom operator's section. The aircraft, from the 416th Bomb Wing, is carrying six AGM-86 air-launched cruise missiles on each wing

Top view of a C-141B Starlifter aircraft being refueled, as seen from the boom operator's position aboard a KC-10 Extender aircraft

Civilian technicians examine the boom operator's control panel in a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft after the installation of a new night illuminator system. The system, currently being evaluated by the 4950th Test Wing, is designed to provide improved nighttime aerial refueling capabilities

An air-to-air view from the boom operator's window of a B-52H Stratofortress aircraft, assigned to the 77th Bombardment Squadron, being refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from the 4th Airborne Command and Control Squadron. The aircraft are participating in the Strategic Air Command Exercise Global Shield '83

An air-to-air view from the boom operator's window of the B-1B/159 testbed aircraft (originally the No. 2 B-1 prototype) approaching the refueling boom of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during a test flight over the Pacific Ocean

An air-to-air view from the boom operator's window of a 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron F-15 Eagle aircraft refueling during the joint U.S./South Korean Exercise Team Spirit '84

A view from the boom operator's window of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an F-4 Phantom II aircraft of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing is refueled in flight during Exercise COPE THUNDER '84-7

A view from the boom operator's window of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an F-16A Fighting Falcon aircraft of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing is refueled in flight during Exercise COPE THUNDER '84-7

A view from the boom operator's window of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an RF-4C Phantom II aircraft approaches for in-flight refueling during exercise Cope Thunder '84-7

A view from the boom operator's window of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an F-16A Fighting Falcon aircraft of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing approaches for in-flight refueling during Exercise COPE THUNDER '84-7

A view from the boom operator's window of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an F-16A Fighting Falcon aircraft of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing approaches for in-flight refueling during Exercise COPE THUNDER '84-7

A female boom operator from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, operates the refueling boom controls of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during an aerial refueling mission

An air-to-air view of an F-15 Eagle aircraft taken from the boom operator's station of KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. The F-15 is assigned to the 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan

A front view of a camouflaged 22nd Air Refueling Wing KC-10A Extender aircraft taken from the refueling boom operator's station of another KC-10A during a practice exercise

A front view of a camouflaged 22nd Air Refueling Wing KC-10A Extender aircraft taken from the refueling boom operator's station of another KC-10A during a practice exercise

A view of an EF-111 aircraft refueling from a KC-10A Extender during Exercise BRIM FROST '85, as seen from the boom operator's station

A view of an E-3B Sentry aircraft refueling from a KC-10A Extender aircraft during Exercise Brim Frost '85, as seen from the boom operator's station

A view of an F-15 Eagle aircraft refueling from a KC-10A Extender aircraft during Exercise BRIM FROST '85, as seen from the boom operator's station

An air-to-air overhead view of a 563rd Tactical Fighter Squadron F-4G Wild Weasel aircraft refueling as seen from the boom operator's station aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during Exercise TEAM SPIRIT '85

An air-to-air overhead view of a 563rd Tactical Fighter Squadron F-4G Wild Weasel aircraft refueling as seen from the boom operator's station aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during Exercise TEAM SPIRIT '85

An air-to-air overhead view of a 563rd Tactical Fighter Squadron F-4G Wild Weasel aircraft refueling as seen from the boom operator's station aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during Exercise TEAM SPIRIT '85

A KC-10A Extender aircraft refueling boom operator of the 9th Air Refueling Squadron refuels an F-4 Phantom II aircraft during Theater Force Employment Exercise IV

Boom operator's view of a 384th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft breaking away from the refueling boom of another KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-135E Stratotanker aircraft of the 126th Air Refueling Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, as it refuels an F-4E Pantom II aircraft during the multinational joint service Exercise BRIGHT STAR '85

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10A Extender aircraft as it refuels a 22nd Air Refueling Wing KC-10A Extender

TECH SGT. Sze Tom, boom operator with the 19th Air Refueling Wing, operates the controls of the refueling boom of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during a training mission

A view from the boom operator's station aboard a 380th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as a 48th Tactical Fighter Wing F-111 aircraft takes on fuel

A view from the boom operator's station of a 380th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as a 48th Tactical Fighter Wing F-111 aircraft maneuvers into position for refueling

A view from the boom operator's station aboard a 380th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as a 48th Tactical Fighter Wing F-111 aircraft breaks away after taking on fuel

A view from the boom operator's station aboard a US Air Force 99th Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft of four German air force F-4 Phantom II aircraft flying in formation

An aerial refueling boom operator looks out the observation window of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an aircraft approaches to be refueled during Exercise Cope Max '85

A boom operator aboard a KC-10A Extender aircraft mans the controls as a 3rd Tactical Fighter Squadron F-4 Phantom II aircraft is refueled in flight during Exercise COPE MAX 85

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as it refuels an 81st Tactical Fighter Wing A-10 Thunderbolt II during Certain Sentinel, a part of Exercise REFORGER '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as it refuels an 81st Tactical Fighter Wing A-10 Thunderbolt II during Certain Sentinel, a part of Exercise REFORGER '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an 81st Tactical Fighter Wing A-10 Thunderbolt II approaches for refueling during Certain Sentinel, a part of Exercise REFORGER '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as it refuels an 81st Tactical Fighter Wing A-10 Thunderbolt II during exercise Certain Sentinel, a part of exercise Reforger '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an 81st Tactical Fighter Wing A-10 Thunderbolt II approaches for refueling during Certain Sentinel, a part of Exercise REFORGER '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as it refuels an 81st Tactical Fighter Wing A-10 Thunderbolt II during Certain Sentinel, a part of Exercise REFORGER '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an 81st Tactical Fighter Wing A-10 Thunderbolt II approaches for refueling during Certain Sentinel, a part of Exercise REFORGER '86

Boom operator's view of a KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft refueling a 384th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft. (SUBSTANDARD IMAGE)

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-135E Stratotanker aircraft as an F-4E Phantom II aircraft from the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing refuels in flight. The 191st Air Refueling Squadron Stratotanker and its Utah Air National Guard crew are providing NATO with air tanker support under the Air Force Total Force program. This program includes Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units in active duty Air Force operations

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10A Extender aircraft as an F/A-18A Hornet aircraft approaches for refueling during Exercise GALLANT EAGLE '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10A Extender aircraft as an F-15 Eagle aircraft moves into position for refueling during Exercise GALLANT EAGLE '86. An F-4 Phantom II aircraft flies below

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10 Extender aircraft as the tanker refuels an F/A-18A Hornet aircraft during Exercise GALLANT EAGLE '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10A Extender aircraft as an F-4E Phantom II aircraft moves into position for refueling during Exercise GALLANT EAGLE '86

Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Lawrence E. Bussen, boom operator, 22nd Air Refueling Wing, maneuvers a KC-10A Extender aircraft refueling boom into position over an F-4G Phantom II aircraft during Exercise GALLANT EAGLE '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10 Extender aircraft as an F-4A Tomcat aircraft moves into position for refueling during Exercise GALLANT EAGLE '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10A Extender aircraft as the tanker refuels an F-4G Phantom II Wild Weasel aircraft

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10A Extender aircraft as an F-4E Phantom II aircraft moves into position for refueling during Exercise GALLANT EAGLE '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10A Extender aircraft as an F-4E Phantom II aircraft moves into position for refueling during Exercise GALLANT EAGLE '86

A view from the boom operator's station of a KC-10A Extender aircraft as it refuels an F-15 Eagle aircraft during Exercise GALLANT EAGLE '86

SSGT Donald Anderson, boom operator for emergency refueling operations, stands by prior to a flight in an EC-135 Stratolifter aircraft code-named Looking Glass. The aircraft acts as the backup command and control post for the Strategic Air Command's (SAC) underground command center. Its crew would assume all functions in the event that SAC's underground center was destroyed by enemy attack. Three Looking Glass sorties are flown daily by the 2nd Airborne Command and Control Squadron (ACCS) and the 4th ACCS

An air-to-air overhead view of a 48th Tactical Fighter Wing F-111F aircraft as seen through the boom operator's window of a KC-10A Extender aircraft during refueling operations over the Mediterranean Sea. The F-111F, based at RAF Lakenheath, England, is r

A boom operator directs the refueling boom from his station under the rear fuselage of a Utah Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during an aerial refueling operation for 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron F-111E aircraft

Boom operator's view of a 384th Aerial Refueling Wing KC-135R Stratotanker refueling from another KC-135R

Boom operator's view of a 384th Aerial Refueling Wing KC-135R Stratotanker approaching the boom of another KC-135R

An air-to-air front view of an F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft of the 336th Tactical Fighter Squadron as seen from the boom operator's station of a KC-10 Extender aircraft

AIRMAN 1ST Class Angela Owens, the boom operator aboard a 41st Air Refueling squadron KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, keeps a close eye on an aircraft that is receiving fuel during exercise Giant Warrior '89. The Stratotanker is operating from Anderson Air Force Base, Guam

Simulator technician Sue Gerdts mounts an F-15 Eagle model for simulation of refueling operations at the KC-10 Extender Simulator Center. The model provides visual simulation of a receiver aircraft for boom operator training

STAFF SGT. Bill Ward, the boom operator aboard a 77th Aerial Refueling Squadron KC-10A Extender aircraft, mans his station during the refueling of a second Extender aircraft. The aircraft are on a training flight out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C

A view from the boom operator's station of an Alaska Tanker Task Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft which is refueling an F-15 Eagle aircraft. The Eagles need tanker support when they escort Soviet bombers from the Alaskan coast

A view from the boom operator's station of an Alaska Tanker Task Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft which is refueling an F-15 Eagle aircraft. The Eagles need tanker support when they escort Soviet bombers from the Alaskan coast

Thad Woodard, president, North Carolina League of Savings Institutions; Troy Pate, president of the Goldsboro, N.C. Military Affairs Committee and SGT Thomas C. Polk, a KC-10A Extender aircraft boom operator with the 911th Aerial Refueling Squadron, prepare to watch refueling operations through the boom operator's window. The men are en route to Long Beach, CA for the ceremony during which the 68th Aerial Refueling Wing will receive its twentieth and final KC-10A, dubbed "Spirit of Kitty Hawk", the final KC-10A to be delivered to the Air Force

The boom operator aboard a KC-10A Extender aircraft watches the approach of an aircraft coming in to refuel while on a training flight during Operation Desert Shield

SENIOR AIRMAN Abel Saenz, wearing the flight suit, a boom operator with the 6th Air Refueling Squadron, 22nd Air Refueling Wing, helps members of the 60th Aerial Port Squadron load a pallet into the cargo bay of a KC-10A Extender aircraft. The aircraft is being loaded for a Military Airlift Command channel cargo mission

SRA Abel Saenz, 6th Aerial Refueling Squadron, briefs passengers on the proper use of oxygen and flotation systems aboard a Strategic Air Command KC-10A Extender aircraft. Saenz is a refueling boom operator aboard the aircraft.

CPT Richard Berger, pilot, flies his 6th Aerial Refueling Squadron Strategic Air Command KC-10A Extender aircraft on a cargo delivery flight out of March Air Force Base, Calif. Berger is assisted by, from left: SRA Abel Saenez, refueling boom operator, MSGT Kurt Knowles, flight engineer and 1LT Mike Mathews, co-pilot.

The boom operator of a 71st Air Refueling Squadron KC-135A Stratotanker aircraft watches through the refueling station window as a 596th Bombardment Squadron B-52G Stratofortress aircraft approaches to take on fuel. Both aircraft are participating in Proud Shield '92, a Strategic Air Command bombing and navigation competition

The boom operator aboard a 32nd Air Refueling Squadron KC-10A Extender aircraft maneuvers the refueling boom while on a mission during Proud Shield '92, a Strategic Air Command bombing and navigation competition

A C-141 Starlifter being refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker during Rodeo 92 tanker competition. The KC-135 is from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, U.K. The boom operator is MASTER SGT. John Alvarez

SENIOR AIRMAN Clayton Izumi, a refueling boom operator aboard a 310th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, guides an OA-10A Thunderbolt II aircraft from the 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron into pre-contact position during a Pacific Tanker Task Force refueling mission

A view from the boom operator's window of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft as an F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, approaches the refueling boom. The KC-135 is assigned to the 351st Air Refueling squadron, 100th Air Refueling Wing

A boom operator on board a KC-10 from Barksdale AFB, LA, observes the refueling of a US Air Force F-4 from the 561st Fighter Wing, Nellis AFB, NV, during the operation.(Exact date unknown)

A C-5 Galaxy from the 436th Aircraft Wing Dover AFB, Delaware is being refueled by a KC-10 from the 60th Air Mobility Wing. KC-10 boom operator, MASTER Sergeant Terry Morges is assigned to the 79th Airlift Refueling Squadron Travis AFB, California. MASTER Sergeant Morges as well as the other KC-10 crew members are Air Force Reserve

A C-5 Galaxy from the 436th Aircraft Wing Dover AFB, Delaware is being refueled by a KC-10 from the 60th Air Mobility Wing. KC-10 boom operator, MASTER Sergeant Terry Morges is assigned to the 79th Airlift Refueling Squadron Travis AFB, California. MASTER Sergeant Morges as well as the other KC-10 crew members are Air Force Reserve

Close-up view of TECH. SGT. Sue Keister, KC-135 boom operator, 350th Aerial Refueling Squadron, McConnell AFB, Kansas, as she prepares for a refueling mission

KC-135R crew members (L-R) 2nd Lieutenanat Kenneth E. Copley, co-pilot, Technical Sergeant Matthew D. Foster, boom operator, and Lieutenant Colonel Michael A. Lorenz, aircraft commander/pilot participate in a crew briefing. Two KC-135R aircraft and crews from the 121st Air Refueling Wing, Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Columbus, Ohio, responded to a short notice historical B-1B Global Power exercise on 2 June 95 in support of exercise CORONET BAT

An overhead view of the refueling boom operator as he connects to a US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon during aerial refueling. The Falcon was part of a joint strike package of US Navy F/A-18 Hornets and US Air Force F-15 Eagles for the exercise. Joint Task Force 95-3 involved each branch of the armed services and all major units of the US Atlantic Command.(Exact date unknown)

K-135E Boom operator, SENIOR MASTER Sergeant Ed Shehart from Bangor, Maine, refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon over the Adriatic Sea. SENIOR MASTER Sergeant Shehart is a member of the 101st Refueling Wing, Air National Guard, Bangor, Maine, which is deployed on a 30 day rotation to Pisa, Italy. The four man crews, pilot, copilot, navigator and boom operator, will fly 5 to 10 hour missions aboard the specially equipped KC-135s, circling a preplanned route over the Adriatic, refueling NATO fighters participating in Operation Decisive Edge and Joint Endeavor

U.S. National Archives

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