Stratotanker’s cousin Extender visits Grissom

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Ben Mota
  • 434th ARW public affairs

It’s normal to see Grissom’s 16 KC-135R Stratotanker’s on the parking ramp, but recently a closer look at a tanker at the base revealed a close relative not often seen.

A KC-10 Extender from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, spent the night here departing Nov. 6 in support of the Denton Program.

The Denton program is a Department of Defense humanitarian assistance transportation program, which provides continual transportation of supplies such as agricultural equipment, clothing, educational supplies, food and medical supplies to countries in need of assistance.

In addition to the humanitarian assistance, the program also provides opportunities for training.

“Five Airman were able to load the aircraft in under two hours providing essential readiness training,” said Senior Master Sgt. Brad Frank, 49th Aerial Port Squadron superintendent of operations. “Everything went smoother than expected.”

The Denton cargo mission consisted primarily of food being sent to Afghanistan.  In total, 42,000 lbs. of cargo was shipped on the KC-10.

“One of the primary differences between the KC-135 and the KC-10 is the amount of cargo it can carry,” said Frank.

The KC-10 can transport up to 75 people and nearly 170,000 pounds of cargo a distance of about 4,400 miles unrefueled. Its ability to receive aerial refueling extends that distance even further.

The large cargo-loading door can accept most air forces' fighter unit support equipment. Powered rollers and winches inside the cargo compartment permit moving heavy loads. The cargo compartment can accommodate loads up to 27 pallets.

What really helps the aircraft stand out from the KC-135s are three General Electric CF6-50C2 turbofan engines with the third being located at the base of the tail above the rear fuselage.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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