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Practice makes perfect
Team MacDill prepares for upcoming ORI

photo by Senior Airman Jason P. Robertson

Senior Airmen Otto Terry (right) and Adam Rockwood, 6th Security Forces Squadron, guard a controlled area and a KC-135 Stratotanker during the GENEX exercise Tuesday. The exercise is in preparation for the base-wide Operational Readiness Inspection coming up Nov. 17. For more coverage of Tuesday’s exercise, turn to Page 11.

photo by Staff Sgt Randy Redman

Capt. Young Kim (left) 91st Aerial Refueling Squadron pilot, and 1st Lt. Kirsten Ellis, 91st ARS co-pilot, scan through the aircraft maintenance 781 forms during the pre-flight to look for any discrepancies which might render the jet unsuitable for an operational mission.

It takes several hours of preparation to get a $39.6 million aircraft capable of delivering 200,000 pounds of fuel ready for flight. So it is one of many processes which must be practiced time and again before an Operational Readiness Inspection like the one coming up in November.

photo by Staff Sgt Randy Redman

Airman 1st Class Timmy Jenkins, 6th AMXS hydraulic specialist, adds hydraulic fluid to the system of aircraft 8037 when it was discovered the level was slightly low.

Airmen from many different areas of expertise were involved with the exercise; from hydro troops, 6th Security Forces guards and unit deployment managers, everyone pulled together to ensure every aspect of Team MacDill’s mission is 100 percent good to go.

photo by Staff Sgt Randy Redman

Staff Sgt. Jason Riker, 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, assists the pilots inside aircraft 8037 with the pre-flight checklist during the Aircraft Generation Exercise here Wednesday. The KC-135 Statotanker was one of two jets which were prepped and readied for action.

photo by Staff Sgt Randy Redman

Staff Sgt. Al Pelletier, 91st ARS boom operator, secures the aircrew’s mobility bags to a pallet on the floor of the jet. A deck above the refueling system can hold a mixed load of passengers and cargo. Depending on fuel storage configuration, the KC-135 can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo.

photo by Staff Sgt Randy Redman

The placard in the window says it all, once the jet is “cocked on” and on alert status, all the pilots have to do is wait for the word from U.S. Strategic Command to fire it up and initiate the mission.

During an exercise like this, the scenario can be taken as far as necessary to confirm the wing’s readiness.

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