Fairchild refueling wing deploys Airmen, KC-135s to Germany

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — Approximately 150 personnel from the 92nd Air Refueling Wing deployed four KC-135 Stratotankers to Spangdahlem Air Base.

The aircraft arrived at Spangdahlem to augment existing U.S. forces in theater, improve readiness, enhance NATO’s collective defense posture, and further capabilities with allied and partner nations. The deployment is with the full cooperation of the German government.

A KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to augment existing U.S. forces in theater Mar. 9, 2022. U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa are committed to standing side-by-side with NATO allies and partners to ensure the independence and security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Plyler)

“We are always ready,” said Col. Cassius Bentley, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “Our Airmen and aircraft are always prepared, working hard to ensure that we are ready to support when called. This deployment proves we can provide rapid global mobility, reach, and power.”

The 92nd Air Refueling Wing is the Air Force’s largest active duty air refueling wing, warranting the title “Super Tanker Wing.” Fairchild directly supports Air Mobility Command’s mission, providing global reach airpower and deploying expeditionary combat support forces in support of worldwide contingency requirements.

Airmen assigned to the 726th Air Mobility Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, unload cargo from a KC-135 Stratotanker at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, Mar 9, 2022. The support and basing of these forces is evidence of the strong commitment to NATO Allies and to a whole, free and peaceful Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Plyler)

“These are purely defensive forces,” chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “These additional personnel are being positioned to respond obviously to the current security environment caused by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and certainly to help reinforce and bolster deterrence and defense capabilities of the NATO alliance.”

This deployment was conducted in full coordination with host nations and NATO military authorities, and although temporary in nature, they are prudent measures to increase readiness and enhance NATOs collective defense during this period of uncertainty.

The 92nd ARW capability of aerial refueling enhances the Air Force’s ability to accomplish its mission of projecting the joint force with rapid global mobility.