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909th ARS Support Operation Iron Dagger

A refueling plane gets prepped for a refueling mission

A 909th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker prepares for takeoff in support of Operation Iron Dagger at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 8, 2021. During Iron Dagger, the U.S. Air Force integrated with the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning IIs from Marine Aircraft Group 12 to strengthen partnerships and enhance joint capabilities, ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

A pilot performs a preflight check underneath the wing of a plane

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Darwin Klatt, 909th Air Refueling Squadron operations group deputy commander, inspects the bottom of a KC-135 Stratotanker as part of a pre-flight check at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 8, 2021. The 909th ARS supported Operation Iron Dagger by refueling U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs from the 356th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and 354th Air Expeditionary Wing over the Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

An Airman watches as he refuels a fighter jet

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Justin Paulson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, refuels a U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II from the 356th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 354th Air Expeditionary Wing, over the Pacific Ocean in support of Operation Iron Dagger, Dec. 8, 2021. Iron Dagger provides assurance to regional allies and partners, validates the ability to deploy 5th generation aircraft around the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility and demonstrates interoperability in support of bilateral and joint operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

A jet approaches a refueling plane midair

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II from the 356th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 354th Air Expeditionary Wing, approaches a 909th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during Operation Iron Dagger over the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 8, 2021. The operation is a joint dynamic force employment projecting forces into the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility to increase interoperability and training for U.S. Marines and Multi-Capable Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

A pilot checks his instruments in the cockpit

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Darwin Klatt, 909th Air Refueling Squadron deputy operations group commander, pilots a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Pacific Ocean in support of Operation Iron Dagger, Dec. 8, 2021. The operation is a joint dynamic force employment projecting forces into the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility to increase interoperability and training for U.S. Marines and multi-capable Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

A pilot places his notebook down in a cockpit as the plane flies over the clouds

U.S. Air Force Capt. Craig Phelman, 909th Air Refueling Squadron pilot, places his notebook down in the cockpit of a KC-135 Stratotanker while flying over the Pacific Ocean in support of Operation Iron Dagger, Dec. 8, 2021. Iron Dagger provides assurance to regional allies and partners, validates the ability to deploy fifth generation aircraft around the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility and demonstrates interoperability in support of bilateral and joint operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

An Airman refuels a jet

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Justin Paulson, 909th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, refuels a U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II from the 356th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 354th Air Expeditionary Wing, over the Pacific Ocean in support of Operation Iron Dagger, Dec. 8, 2021. Iron Dagger provides assurance to regional allies and partners, validates the ability to deploy 5th generation aircraft around the Indo-Pacific Command AOR and demonstrates interoperability in support of bilateral and joint operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

A jet gets refueled by a plane midair

A 909th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 refuels a U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II from the 356th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 354th Air Expeditionary Wing, in support of Operation Iron Dagger over the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 8, 2021. During Iron Dagger, the U.S. Air Force integrated with the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning IIs from Marine Aircraft Group 12 to strengthen partnerships and enhance joint capabilities, ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

A jet flies off the wing of a refueling plane

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II from the 356th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 354th Air Expeditionary Wing, flies next to a 909th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during Operation Iron Dagger over the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 8, 2021. During Iron Dagger, the U.S. Air Force integrated with the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning IIs from Marine Aircraft Group 12 to strengthen partnerships and enhance joint capabilities, ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

The patch on the shoulder of a pilot shines in the light of the setting sun
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U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Darwin Klatt, 909th Air Refueling Squadron deputy operations group commander, pilots a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Pacific Ocean in support of Operation Iron Dagger, Dec. 8, 2021. The operation is a joint dynamic force employment projecting forces into the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility to increase interoperability and training for U.S. Marines and multi-capable Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

A pilot smiles at his copilot as the sunsets out the window of the cockpit
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U.S. Air Force Craig Phelman, 909th Air Refueling Squadron pilot, lands a KC-135 Stratotanker that supported Operation Iron Dagger, at Kadena Air Base, Japan Dec. 8, 2021. Iron Dagger provides assurance to regional allies and partners, validates the ability to deploy fifth generation aircraft around the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility and demonstrates interoperability in support of bilateral and joint operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --