DVIDS – News – Preliminary test of the FARE kit on KC-135


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Test Center (AATC) – KC-135 Test Detachment, in conjunction with the 151st Air Refueling Wing, Salt Lake City, Utah, continues its transformation efforts and modernization on the KC-135R Stratotanker by testing the MICRO Forward Area Refueling Equipment (FARE) kit on the 65-year-old aircraft, ensuring it has the best combat capabilities.

The MICRO FARE kit is designed for refueling aircraft or ground vehicles at forward operating sites where typical refueling capabilities do not exist. It has been used on several aircraft such as the CH-47 Chinook helicopter and the C-130 Hercules to provide fuel in austere environments. This is the first time it will be tested for certification and use for the KC-135R.

“This kit will allow aircrew and maintenance personnel to be able to refuel the aircraft for virtually any possible fuel source and get it airborne in a degraded, time-sensitive infrastructure environment,” said said the master sergeant. Robert McFadden, crew chief of the 151st KC-135R Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “Having this asset on the aircraft will ensure refueling capabilities are available wherever the KC-135 operates.”

A KC-135R is usually refueled by an R-11 tanker. With the MICRO FARE kit, the KC-135R does not require a vehicle to be refueled. Aircrew and maintenance personnel on board the aircraft can refuel from any possible fuel source, including fuel transfer between aircraft. This ability is especially important in a war scenario and time is running out.

In addition to being able to supply fuel to a KC-135R from multiple fuel sources, the MICRO FARE kit will benefit the defense of the United States by supporting operational nuclear deterrence plans. If a nuclear event were to occur, the event would generate an electromagnetic pulse that could damage unprotected electronics in the area. Ground refueling systems rely on electronic components that can be affected by EMPs. The FARE kit provides additional means to refuel the aircraft using the power generated by the aircraft, allowing the KC-135R to accomplish vital follow-on missions.

“Because the nuclear mission is our top priority, we need to be confident that we can put fuel on the jet anywhere and everywhere we go,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Gould, director of ACLS testing. KC-135. “The FARE kit will provide an additional ability to refuel the aircraft, which will be particularly beneficial if we ever find ourselves in a degraded environment.”

The MICRO FARE kit will also help the KC-135R with the Agile Combat Employment concept of operation. Agile Combat Employment responds to the changing threat environment by shifting airpower generation from large, centralized bases to networks of smaller, dispersed locations or clusters of smaller bases. Without depending on the main supply capacities of the operational bases, this system will make it possible to refuel anywhere in the world and at any time. An additional use of the FARE kit is in support of National Guard supported domestic operations.

“During domestic and regional support operations, the KC-135 typically supports other airborne assets, but by adding the FARE kit, the KC-135 will have the capability to carry fuel in support of ground operations .” said Gould. “During the 2010 Haiti earthquake, USTRANSCOM requested the support of tanker units to help evacuate civilians. If these KC-135s were equipped with the FARE kit, they would have been supposed to provide air support for civilians and provide fuel for rescuers. This fuel could be used to support helicopter reconnaissance and rescue operations or provide fuel to run generators.

Generating additional capabilities in support of combat commander requirements is central to the ACLS mission. Gould said the FARE kit is just one more capability the KC-135 will provide in the future.

On November 2, 2021, Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, Director of the Air National Guard, announced the selection of the Utah Air National Guard’s 151st Air Refueling Wing as the KC-135 Test Detachment. for the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. Command Test Center.

“Upgrading the KC-135 tanker fleet with new capabilities and cutting-edge technology increases efficiency and combat readiness,” Loh said. “New capabilities require the skills and experience of seasoned ANG staff, which takes years to achieve. The Utah Air National Guard and ACLS have talented and proven Guard Warriors at the forefront of KC-135 modernization efforts.

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