Saturday, March 19, 2016

USMC F-35B Conduct Aerial Refueling

An F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 “Green Knights” flies alongside a KC-130J Super Hercules with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 over Southern California, March 8, 2016. The two F-35Bs completed additional training after successfully conducting an aerial refuel with VMGR-352.

San Diego March 17, 2016 - Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 supported the aerial refueling mission of two F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 during a training flight over Southern California, March 8, 2016.
According to Sgt. Christopher Coxe, a crew master with VMGR-352 and a New Orleans native, a KC-130J Super Hercules will extend hoses to dispense fuel to a receiving aircraft. The receiving aircraft will connect its probe with the hose and receive fuel.
The two F-35Bs were able to complete this maneuver several times during the flight.



“The ability to refuel in flight is critical for the supportability and the sustainability of the F-35B during real-world operations,” said Capt. Jimmy Braudt, a pilot with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 and a Dallas native. “It is a force multiplier that allows us to project the fight to the enemy.”
According to Capt. Graham Denniston, a pilot with VMGR-352 and a Walnut Creek, California native, aerial refueling is an important capability for the Lightning II.
“Aerial refueling extends the range of the receiver aircraft, thus allowing longer on-station time for such missions as close air support and combat air patrol,” said Coxe. 

Cpl. Cody Holder, a crew master with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 and an Easton, Pa. native, observes an F-35B Lightning II during an aerial refueling mission over Southern California, March 8, 2016. Marines with VMGR-352 supported an aerial refueling mission with two F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121.
After the two fighter jets completed the aerial refuel, they went on to complete tactical intercept training.
“The training was successful,” said Denniston. “[It enabled Marines] to gain and maintain proficiency in the actual refueling process.”

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