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KC-135 Tanker Q&A

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Guest Pogo

Hi, Could someone tell me the minimum runway length a KC-135R needs for a landing at an away base for an airshow? Thanks.

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Guest Pogo

Thanks, having just spoken to someone else that 7000 is only with a higher HQ waiver as well!

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Guest KC10Boomer

I just checked out the af pubs site for the 135 vol 3 and it does say 7000L 147W. Nothing about you needing a majcom/do waiver to go to that length, just anything less. Maybe I'm missing something like a new FCIF but that's what it says there.

web page

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Guest Pogo

Ah, our runway is only 125', might've been for that then. At least we know we'll never get one no matter how hard we try now. Speak to the MC-130/MH-53 guys now, see how they can support our show

Thanks for the link by the way.

[ 02. April 2004, 03:38: Message edited by: Pogo ]

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Guest upt_hopeful

I am trying to become a pilot; specifically in the KC-135 airframe. Anyone have any info on the pipeline I will be in if/when I am appointed to a slot?

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Guest jk227

At UPT, you will train in the T-6 or T-37 for about 6 months. After that, you will move into the T-1 (Beechjet 400) for another 6 months. Upon completion of these 12-13 months, you will earn your wings. After being winged, you will head out to Altus AFB, OK for about 4 months to attend KC-135 school. Once complete, you will head back to your unit and complete any required training that they have for you in order to become ready to fly with them. Sometimes, after the wings but before Altus, you may be sent to attend Land/Water Survival school. Land (SERE) is 17 days at Fairchild AFB, WA and Water is 6 days at NAS Pensacola, FL. You may be able to get this done before or after UPT also. It just depends on class schedules, how full they are, how long of a break you may have during everything. I am currently in the KC-135 pipeline. I start Columbus 4 Nov. I was selected to fly for the 134ARW in Knoxville, TN. I tried to go to SERE school this summer but was unable to get into a slot out there. I guess that mean I have some fun times to look forward too at a later date. I hope this helps.

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Guest Guppyguy

What is the time required to upgrade to AC in the -135 typically? Is it different for every unit and can any of the times be waived?

Is it any faster if you initially go thru the FP course now offered at Altus?

Guppyguy

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Guest rhildreth

I will be attending a "Round 2" interview on Saturday in a 135 Unit. If I am lucky enough to secure a position, what does the KC135 training pipeline consist of? Are there different options for training bases, or is that all assigned?

Thanks!

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Good luck on the second round!

Assuming you are not already enlisted, your flow would go something like this:

AMS (6 weeks) - Knoxville, TN

UPT (54 weeks) - Columbus, MS; Enid, OK; Del Rio, TX

KC-135 Pilot Initial Qual (15 weeks?) - Altus, OK

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Guest PilotKD

Yes, I believe everyone is coming out a "Super Co" now (dual seat qual'd).

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Guest a_uhan23

Just to add to the -135 chatter:

The course at Altus is called MPDP (Mobility Pilot...uh...something something). It is AMC's 'outstanding' idea to make all the co's into dual seat qualled mobility pilots. I think it stemmed from our T-tailed brethren and the use of augmented crews, a rarety in the 135 world. Our unit has seen a few problems with the dudes coming through: 1.) Very weak understanding of PFPS (mission planning software) and 2.) Not a full grasp of how to 'flow' through a preflight. This is in direct correlation, I believe, to the lack of exposure to previously qualified co's during the flightline phase. Then again, I could be just imagining all of this...

[ 25. January 2006, 00:02: Message edited by: a_uhan23 ]

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Does anyone have info on the new block 40/42? Is this an ANG-only mod or is the AD getting them as well? What sort of new features (i.e. does it work the way Pacer CRAG should have in the first place).

Google wasn't much help, so thought I'd see if anyone on here has the scoop.

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Guest Mary G

AD should be getting the upgrade as well. The whole conversion process seems to be taking a really long time though. I think they only do 1 or 2 jets at PDM at a time - but I could be wrong. Right now Nebraska, Hawaii, and both March squadrons are completely block 40, most with the 40.2 software upgrade. (May be missing some in that list) When I was at Altus last year only a few AD guys had gotten Block 40 upgraded so it looks like AD will be last to make the switch.

For the features - there's lots that's new - I'll try to hit some of the big ones:

- There are more displays on the center MFD now (though still not weather). You can cycle between a tactical mode, north map mode, and a bunch of others. Plus, you can also put up lots of extra information (TCAS, stick map, partial flight plan, TOLD, etc). Some of those displays are also available on bottom MFD display for each pilot as well.

- On your armrest (right one for the left seat, left one for the right seat) there's a controller for the displays on the MFD. Takes a little getting used to.

- Lots of rearrangements in the FMS. The absolute BEST is a 'clear all checks' on the status page with 40.2. It rocks.

- All the comms are controlled through the FMS as well - including the HF.

- Automatic CPDLC and ADS reporting crossing the pond. Get your oceanic clearance, SELCAL checks and your set pretty much; so as long as everything works you don't even do verbal position reports.

- Only takes about 5 minutes to align everything and it's all on the FMS. No more waiting for the damn light to switch to Nav!

- There's a printer over on the co's side - so if you request ATIS or something you can print it out.

- SATCOM - you can make a phone call and actually hear the person (as opposed to HF)

Big picture - for upgrade you'll do a couple sims and a couple flights. For one of the flights you have to see how the CPDLC and ADS works so you'll have to cross a pond - awesome for those of use on the west coast since it meant an extra trip to Hawaii. Not sure how other units are working this though. I guess it was a little bit TOO much information at first. But you get used to it really quickly. One of the things we noticed was that people were taking a bit longer for preflight - but once all the jets were Block 40 and everyone was used to the new stuff, that went away. There's definitely a lot more helpful information available. I'd say the biggest drawback I've seen is lots of breaking due to all the upgrades. Of course, in my case I broke in Hawaii and was forced to stay an extra day. Rough. I'm hoping they fix the problems eventually though.

Hope that's what you were looking for, if not more. Have fun with the upgrade!

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Guest PilotKD

Yep. Active duty has had them for a while now. We've had them for at least a year and we're getting new ones all the time. We're actually evaluating 40.3 this week. So, as you can see, we've gone from Block 30 to Block 40 and 40.2 and now 40.3. So, no, it probably doesn't work like Block 30 should have in the first place. Neither does 40.2 and I'd be willing to bet 40.3 won't either. :rolleyes:

Block 40 training has been incorporated into MQT here. It consists of about 10-15 hours worth of CBT's (way too many CBT's IMO), 3 sims and 3 flights, one to include datalinking, which usually goes to Hawaii.

I'm on the fence with the upgrade. There's a bit more SA with the added features of the MFD's (shows MOA's, SUA's, airfields, navaids, etc...) and while it seems the engineers used their brains with most of the features, there are a few things that are annoying. I find the preflight to actually be quicker for Block 40 and even more so with 40.2. 40.2 has upgraded data loaders that actually feature a USB port, letting you use a thumb drive (which I haven't used yet). The data loaders are quicker with the 40.2 due to upgraded ethernet cabling. You can update DAFIF in about 7 minutes for Block 40.2 vs the 45 minutes it took for Block 40. BTW, DAFIF is stored in the system with 40 and 40.2 vs Block 30 just getting it off the card every time. In other words, you don't need a data card in the data loader to fat finger a flightplan into Block 40/40.2. There is also the ability to program preset COM Freqs by cutting them right to the card. Oh, and the Nav radios are tuned through the CDU now and not on the overhead panel.

When it comes to flying in the AOR, some features are nice, but others are not. The hand controller will take some getting used to and definitely doesn't allow for quick access to some of the available pages. They got it out of a chopper and adapted it to newly designed right and left armrests for the AC and copilot's seats. The circuit breaker panels have been replaced also, which is nice. You can actually read them. Bare in mind, I'm speaking AD here. I know your jets in the guard are prestine. :D

We were also having issues with the card cutting software and/or PFPS with Block 40/40.2 where all the points come up as lat/longs instead of 5 character names. I think it's more of a PFPS software issue than anything. Makes me wonder if they ever actually test this stuff or not before releasing it. I have yet to find a way to name points that have been entered as lat/longs in PFPS and have them load up from the card into the FMS as names instead of lat/longs. This has also happened with TACC route files. For example, coming back from the desert, after cutting card off a TACC route file, every point comes up as a lat/long on the FMS. Needless to say, not very useful when ATC tells you to proceed direct to "ABCDE" and the FMS is just showing 60 points as lat/longs. Instead, we end up fat fingering the entire flight plan (yes, all 60-70 points from the desert to EGUN).

Overall, nice attempt by our acquisition friends, but it's still dated avionics being shoe horned into a 50 year old yet that seems to be more problematic than its worth. This is not "new" stuff by any means. Just newer than the near 20 year old Pacer CRAG upgrade. How long have airliners had printers with ACARS systems to get ATIS? A long, long time. Have you heard about Block 45 and 50?? They're coming. I don't know specifics, but we were told they're in the works. Yes, more "upgrades" to allow this jet to fly for another 30+ years.

I've probably got some pics of a Block 40/40.2 cockpit if you'd like to see one. There's nothing too cosmic about it.

[ 23. February 2006, 23:42: Message edited by: PilotKD ]

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We here at KSKA have a crap load of them (40 and 40.2). The pilots seem to love it. The only downfall is that the stupid printer is forever jamming up and the "TACC" ding-dong bell will drive you crazy if you do not answer them on cue.

[ 24. February 2006, 18:25: Message edited by: 509thBoom ]

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Has anyone else heard that 135s were going to be stationed @ Andersen? If so, I don't think that would be too bad of an assignment.

[ 09. July 2006, 12:01: Message edited by: C21Cowboy ]

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Guest admjh

The plan as of a year ago called for basing 12 "aerial refueling aircraft," and three Global Hawks at Andersen.

http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-IMPACT/200...ay-18/i9902.htm

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Air Force

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Basing a Global Strike Task Force, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam (U.S. Territory)

AGENCY: United States Air Force.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for basing a Global Strike Task Force, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam (U.S. territory).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 1500-1508), and Air Force's Environmental Impact Analysis Process as implemented by 32 CFR part 989, the United States Air Force (Air Force) is issuing this notice to advise the public of our intent to prepare a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) for the proposed basing of the Global Strike Task Force (GSTF) at Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), Guam. The DPEIS will analyze and evaluate the impacts of alternatives for the proposed establishment of an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, strike, and aerial refueling capability at Andersen AFB, as part of Pacific Command's GSTF initiative. The proposed action would base three Global Hawk unmanned aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft and 12 aerial refueling aircraft at Andersen AFB. Additionally, 48 fighter and 6 bomber aircraft would rotate to Andersen AFB from bases in the 50 states. Approximately 2,400 additional military, civilian and contractor personnel would be required to support the proposed action. The action would also result in facility construction, addition, and alteration projects to support basing and operation. This notice is being provided to obtain suggestions and information from other agencies and the public on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DPEIS, to include alternatives to the proposed action and the potential for impacts. Public comments on the scope of the DPEIS, reasonable alternatives that should be considered, anticipated environmental concerns, and actions that might be taken to address these issues are requested. A public scoping meeting will be held to obtain agency and community input to ensure that all relevant concerns are identified and addressed in the DPEIS. Notification of the meeting location and time will be made in the local area and will be announced via local news media. Written comments will also be accepted at the address listed below.

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If they put AD tankers at Anderson, that cut the ANG out of the picture...thus killing one of the last "good deals" for ANG tanker guys. Guess we'll have to get busy inventing new good deals...

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I understand your point, mine was that Turkey isn't all that bad given the other alternatives.

I mean I wish I could be TDY to Turkey for 30 days or whatever it is you do and have more than a couple hours/days to negotiate prices for a rug, get a fitted and art-emblazoned leather flying jacket at Pop's (f*ck, every other picture in their gallery is a -135 dude or boomer), get patches/luggage tags ordered up, etc.

Seriously, would you rather be messing with ration cards for permission to buy a beer limited to a couple times a week, if even that?

[ 11. July 2006, 13:07: Message edited by: Chuck Farleston ]

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Guest PilotKD
Originally posted by Chuck Farleston:

I understand your point, mine was that Turkey isn't all that bad given the other alternatives.

I mean I wish I could be TDY to Turkey for 30 days or whatever it is you do and have more than a couple hours/days to negotiate prices for a rug, get a fitted and art-emblazoned leather flying jacket at Pop's (f*ck, every other picture in their gallery is a -135 dude or boomer), get patches/luggage tags ordered up, etc.

Seriously, would you rather be messing with ration cards for permission to buy a beer limited to a couple times a week, if even that?

LOL... actually, we've just recently gotten a few TDY taskings to Turkey for 30 days this Fall. Flying and staff and I'm at an AD supertanker base. I don't think we've seen Turkey in years. I haven't seen it in the past year and a half I've been here. Our good deal was Diego and that went away. Somehow MacDill and Fairchild convinced the right people that they needed a warm place to go in the winter. :confused:

Holy crap, what's the AF coming to? AD tankers going to Hickam AND Guam?? It won't be too long before the 135 will be at the top of everyone's dream sheet instead of the poop end. :D

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Guest kcip2010

I was just there and the current rumor on base is that the unit at Kadena was going to be split. Half to stay at Kadena and half to go to Andersen.

When I was there last year (pre-BRAC) the rumor was that a full squadron was going to be set up and that the planes may come from the 'Forks. Now that the BRAC has accounted for all of those planes, the new rumor is the "Kadena Shuffle."

The AFRC took the Guam TSP from Jul through Dec because the ANG couldn't fill the slots. The BRAC'd tanker units are bailing on alot of taskings due to manpower issues. That is why Turkey is opening up for some rotations too. I just hope that we can get Guam back from the AFRC after they figure out that is a good deal.

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Originally posted by KCIP2010:

The AFRC took the Guam TSP from Jul through Dec because the ANG couldn't fill the slots. The BRAC'd tanker units are bailing on alot of taskings due to manpower issues. That is why Turkey is opening up for some rotations too. I just hope that we can get Guam back from the AFRC after they figure out that is a good deal.

True. There are also several ANG E-model units in various stages of conversion, so that has taken quite a number of airplanes out of circulation for the time being.

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