New Hampshire Guardsmen Support First KC-46 Capstone Mission

photo by Lt. Col. Jason Denton

Airmen from the 157th Air Refueling Wing carried out a high-visibility mission to support the Capstone program out of Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

The mission was the first of its type in over 20 years for the 157th ARW and the first for the KC-46 airframe.

The augmented crew of 10 Airmen carried out a 17-hour flight to Nadi, Fiji and delivered 16 general officers from the program to the Indo-Pacific Command Conference in Suva, Fiji July 27.

“It was amazing to see our crew come together and work tirelessly to support every facet of this mission," said Lt. Col. Jason Denton, a pilot with the 157th Operations Group and the mission commander.

The focus of the aircrew was to provide the distinguished officers with a safe, efficient and on-time delivery to their multinational conference in the INDO-PACOM region.

Utilizing all of the new assets of the KC-46 and supporting the Capstone program for the first time in over two decades made the mission especially unique to the Guardsmen onboard. The Airmen overcame hurdles that arose from the new mission set including the safety, effective timing and configuration of the aircraft.

"We faced challenges that we truly needed to think outside of the box to deliver the level of service our Air National Guard unit was excited to provide,” said Staff Sgt. Alex Bettcher, a boom operator with the 157th OG.

The crew said they look forward to missions of this type in the future and were honored to support the distinguished officers.

"Our crew and the KC-46 have proven to be incredibly versatile and adaptable,” said Denton. “The team at the 157th is proud to be serving our nation as needs arise."

Post a Comment