From the Desk of NJ State Senator Christopher Connors
LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ – Senator Christopher Connors participated in an orientation flight on a KC-135R Stratotanker with the New Jersey Air National Guard at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
“It was a privilege to be able to participate in the refueling exercise with the New Jersey Air National Guard,” said Connors (R-9). “To have the opportunity to be in the Stratotanker itself, and witness firsthand as it refuels a nearby jet, was nothing short of impressive. I would like to thank all of the incredible servicemen and women who organized this exercise and allowed us to get an inside look at some of the dangerous, complex, but necessary work the National Guard engages in every day.”
Connors, a member of the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, took part in an orientation flight on a KC-135R Stratotanker on July 19 with the 108th Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard. The flight highlighted the valuable work of the Air National Guard and gave participants a firsthand view of a Stratotanker air refueling mission and its importance to the national defense strategy.
The 108th Wing was formed in 1993 by the consolidation of two units—one with a rich tradition of fighter operations, and the other with a distinguished background in airlift and air refueling. Today, the 108th has more than 1,200 professional men and women dedicated to aerial refueling, airlift, intelligence, and cyber operations.
U.S. Air Force Col. Eric A. Guttormsen, commander, 108th Wing, addresses New Jersey legislators and staffers prior to the orientation flight.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kristopher D’Erasmo, right, a KC-135R evaluator pilot with the 141st Air Refueling Squadron, talks with Sen. Connors, left, Honorary 87th Air Base Wing Commander John Ciufo, second from left, and Sen. Zwicker.
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon with the 177th Fighter Wing, maintains its position on the starboard side of the KC-135R.
Sen. Connors, right, observes as Staff Sgt. Charles W. Howard V, a KC-135R boom operator with the 141st Air Refueling Squadron, refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon.
New Jersey legislators and staffers and 108th Wing crew members have their photo taken after the orientation flight.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Charles W. Howard V, left, talks with Sen. Connors after the orientation flight.