2nd ARS says goodbye to KC-10

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Shay Stuart
  • 87th Public Affairs

The 2nd Air Refueling Squadron said farewell to the KC-10 Extender during a final flight on June 30 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ.

The 2nd ARS has officially transitioned to being a KC-46 squadron on July 1, marking its 24th aircraft since 1915.

Members of the squadron, family and friends gathered for an informal ceremony in the 2nd ARS Duce Heritage Room to honor their time with the KC-10 and its Flight Engineer force. The “Duce” is over a century old and provided support in World Wars I and II.

With its long history, the squadron has adapted to change before, but still moments like these are bittersweet for those who have worked on an aircraft for so long.

“We’ve known that the aircraft has been on its way out for quite some time,” said 2nd ARS Chief Master Sgt. David Lang. “It’s a huge day and it’s also a sad day knowing last night was our last KC-10 sortie as the Duce. We lose our flight engineer teammates, but we have some outstanding performers and anywhere they go they’re going to do well.”

The squadron’s flight engineers have the opportunity to continue on to another base with the KC-10 until those remaining have been retired or transfer to a different aircraft.

Meanwhile, the 2nd ARS will focus on qualifying its members for the KC-46. The KC-46 sports new technology in various parts of the craft, which will be a change for Airmen used to operating on older planes.

“The shift to this airplane is kind of a mental shift for Mobility Air Forces in general.” said 2nd ARS Commander Lt. Col. Nicholas Arthur. “Specifically the tanker community, and how we point toward the future fight and better integrate with the [Combat Air Forces],”

JB MDL currently has six crew members qualified on the KC-46. The squadron continues to familiarize itself with the aircraft to have members ready for the Pegasus’s arrival in November.