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Final tanker leaves Grand Forks


The last KC-135R has left Grand Forks Air Force Base.

December 8: The last KC-135R serving with the 319th Air Refueling Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota departed the airfield on December 4, bringing to an end 40 years of Stratotanker operations from the base.

The KC-135 was piloted to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas by Lt General Vern Findley, the Air Mobility Command vice-commander, and Colonel Don Shaffer, the 319th Air Refueling Wing commander. “I started my career here in 1978 with the 905th Air Refueling Squadron,” said General Findley. “I came back 20 years later, in 1999, as the wing commander. I am honoured and privileged to be a part of this ceremony.”

The first KC-135 arrived at Grand Forks AFB in May 1960, as a part of the 905th Air Refueling Squadron. Grand Forks now awaits the first delivery of the RQ-4 Global Hawk in the summer of 2011.

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