MacDill Stratotankers

6th Operations GroupMacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida is home to the 6th Air Mobility Wing of the USAF. The wing comprises the 6th Operations Group, 6th Maintenance Group, 6th Mission Support Group and the 6th Medical Group. The base is also home to other units including the United States Central Command, United States Special Operations Command and teams from the US Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

Each USAF group is composed of squadrons. The main type of aircraft flown out of the base by the 6th Operations Group is the Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker air to air refueling tanker operated by the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (91 ARS) and the Gulfstream C-37A (the military version of the Gulfstream V business jet) operated by the 310th Airlift Squadron. The C-37 is used provide global airlift for special assignment missions directly supporting USAF Combatant Commanders.

Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014 @ MacDill AFB
Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014 @ MacDill AFB

The mission of the 6th Operations Group:

“Planning and executing global aerial refueling, combatant commander airlift, and specialized missions for US and allied combat and support aircraft. We extend US global power and global reach through employment of a mix of KC-135R and C-37 aircraft.”

USAF KC-135R Stratotanker with the re-fuelling boom down at Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014
USAF KC-135R Stratotanker @ Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014
USAF KC-135R from MacDill AFB
USAF KC-135R from MacDill AFB
USAF KC-135R on approach to MacDill AFB in Tampa Florida
USAF KC-135R on approach to MacDill AFB in Tampa Florida
KC-135 on the deck at the Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014 at MacDill AFB
KC-135 on the deck at the Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014 at MacDill AFB
USAF Gulfstream C-37A MacDill AFB
USAF Gulfstream C-37A on approach to MacDill AFB
Cargo access on the KC-135 USAF
Cargo access on the KC-135
USAF Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker
Up close with the KC-135
KC-135 at MacDill AFB Tampa Florida
KC-135 at MacDill AFB
KC-135 Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014 at MacDill AFB
You could get a very good close up look at the KC-135 during the Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014 at MacDill AFB
Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014 MacDill AFB Tampa FL KC-135
The big bird provided some welcome shade from the heat at Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014

The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker has been in USAF service for over 50 years and remains a major asset in mobility operations. it was developed from the commercial Boeing 707 passenger jet and first deployed in August 1956.

KC-135
KC-135 low pass over my place!
USAF KC-135
The illuminated strip along the belly of the KC-135 is quite noticeable in this photo – it helps with night time re-fuelling
Re-fuelling boom of the KC-135
Re-fuelling boom of the KC-135
USAF Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker MacDill AFB Tampa FL
Nice profile
The KC-135 was a popular attraction at the Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014
The KC-135 was a popular attraction at the Tampa Bay Air Fest 2014

The KC-135R model has been re-engined with new CFM-International CFM-56 engines to extend the life of the aircraft. They are now 96% quieter and 25% more fuel-efficient than earlier KC-135A models (the aircraft can also now offload 50 percent more fuel – up to 90,719 kilograms / 200,000 pounds and costs 25% less to operate). Despite this I can tell you they are still very loud when they fly directly over you!

KC-135R Stratotanker from MacDill AFB USAF
KC-135R Stratotanker from MacDill AFB
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