News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
American Homefront

MacDill Refueling Flight Missions Aware of Russian Military Strikes

view_from_a_kc-135_tanker.jpg
Lottie Watts
/
WUSF Public Media
View from the cockpit of a KC-135 Stratotanker, which is used for refueling aircraft in midair, during a domestic refueling mission stateside.

Refueling air crews from Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base are flying daily support missions in the U.S. air campaign against the Islamic State.

The U.S. and Coalition their mission got more complicated this week when the Russians started flying airstrikes in the same Syrian air space.

Air Force Col. Daniel Tulley – commander of MacDill and the 6th Air Mobility Wing – said radar and other technologies traditionally help U.S. aircraft avoid the flight paths of other aircraft.

“It can be crowded. It can be very busy. However, with the proper de-confliction, which the Air Force is expert at accomplishing, it can all be worked out,” Tulley said.

In the past, Tulley has flown refueling missions over Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan during his 11 combat deployments.

The KC-135 refueling tanker aircrews from MacDill have been supporting the U.S. Central Command mission against ISIS for more than a year.