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Refuelers of the Pacific

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron sits ready for pre-flight procedures April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The KC-135 is unmatched in the Air Force for its long-range refueling capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron sits ready for pre-flight procedures April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The KC-135 is unmatched in the Air Force for its long-range refueling capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron sits ready for pre-flight procedures April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 909th ARS facilitates multiple exercises throughout Kadena AB’s Pacific area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron sits ready for pre-flight procedures April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 909th ARS facilitates multiple exercises throughout Kadena AB’s Pacific area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jacob Johnson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron director of wing inspections, and 1st Lt. Huston Harrison, 909th ARS standards and evaluations liaison officer, review a pre-flight checklist April 20, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Pre-flight checks ensure aircraft are safe for flight and can carry out designated missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jacob Johnson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron director of wing inspections, and 1st Lt. Huston Harrison, 909th ARS standards and evaluations liaison officer, review a pre-flight checklist April 20, 2017 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Pre-flight checks ensure aircraft are safe for flight and can carry out designated missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 909th Aircraft Maintenance Unit prepare a KC-135 Stratotanker for pre-flight inspections April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 909th Air Refueling Squadron performed refueling operations for Kadena’s F-15 Eagles going to Guam for Exercise Vigilant Ace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 909th Aircraft Maintenance Unit prepare a KC-135 Stratotanker for pre-flight inspections April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 909th Air Refueling Squadron performed refueling operations for Kadena’s F-15 Eagles going to Guam for Exercise Vigilant Ace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason Cokley, 909th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, plugs in a power source to a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Crew chiefs play a vital role in ensuring aircraft are ready for flight and pre-flight inspections by pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason Cokley, 909th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, plugs in a power source to a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Crew chiefs play a vital role in ensuring aircraft are ready for flight and pre-flight inspections by pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

The 909th Air Refueling Squadron is the Pacific Air Forces lead force for air refueling of U.S. and allied aircraft during all contingencies. The 909th ARS provides refueling for multiple aircraft participating in contingencies throughout the Pacific area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

The 909th Air Refueling Squadron is the Pacific Air Forces lead force for air refueling of U.S. and allied aircraft during all contingencies. The 909th ARS provides refueling for multiple aircraft participating in contingencies throughout the Pacific area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron perform pre-flight checks on a KC-135 Stratotanker April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan.  The 909th ARS maintains global reach by providing capable aircraft for contingency and strategic operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron perform pre-flight checks on a KC-135 Stratotanker April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 909th ARS maintains global reach by providing capable aircraft for contingency and strategic operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jacob Johnson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron director of wing inspections and 1st Lt. Huston Harrison, 909th ARS standards and evaluations officer, conduct pre-flight checks aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The KC-135 is the Air Force’s primary air refueling capacity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jacob Johnson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron director of wing inspections and 1st Lt. Huston Harrison, 909th ARS standards and evaluations officer, conduct pre-flight checks aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The KC-135 is the Air Force’s primary air refueling capacity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jacob Johnson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron director of wing inspections and 1st Lt. Huston Harrison, 909th ARS standards and evaluations officer, conduct pre-flight checks aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The KC-135 is the primary refueling aircraft for the Air Force, capable of supporting peacetime and contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jacob Johnson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron director of wing inspections and 1st Lt. Huston Harrison, 909th ARS standards and evaluations officer, conduct pre-flight checks aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The KC-135 is the primary refueling aircraft for the Air Force, capable of supporting peacetime and contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jacob Johnson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron director of wing inspections, performs pre-flight procedures aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Pilots ensure the aircraft is ready to meet mission requirements and safely conduct its specific mission prior to take off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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U.S. Air Force Maj. Jacob Johnson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron director of wing inspections, performs pre-flight procedures aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Pilots ensure the aircraft is ready to meet mission requirements and safely conduct its specific mission prior to take off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker taxis down the flightline April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The KC-135 can carry more than 80,000 pounds of cargo, depending on fuel storage and can also be configured for medical evacuation operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker taxis down the flightline April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The KC-135 can carry more than 80,000 pounds of cargo, depending on fuel storage and can also be configured for medical evacuation operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker takes off from the runway April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. As the leading aerial refueler of the Air Force, the KC-135 can refuel aircraft mid-flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker takes off from the runway April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. As the leading aerial refueler of the Air Force, the KC-135 can refuel aircraft mid-flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron sits ready for pre-flight procedures April 20, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The KC-135 is unmatched in the Air Force for its long-range refueling capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)