WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published October 04, 2010, 10:03 PM

Last KC-135 Comes Home to Grand Forks Air Force Base

The last deployed KC-135 Stratotanker returned home today, marking the end of five decades as the workhorse of Grand Forks Air Force Base.

By: Brady Mallory, WDAZ

The last deployed KC-135 Stratotanker returned home today, marking the end of five decades as the workhorse of Grand Forks Air Force Base.

It left for a mission in overseas this past summer.

The Air Force Base said though this is the end of the aerial refueling mission, they still have a few things to look forward to. As does one of the airmen who came home today.

"It'll be nice to go to 'B-Dub's' with some buddies, get some beers and watch football with my friends," said Captain Richard Adams, Co-Pilot of the KC-135.

Adams said catching up on his favorite pastime is what he looks forward to the most after a few months overseas. After seeing his wife again, of course.

"It's always great to come home and see her. She really helps me get through the deployments."

"We've been talking with SKYPE and Blackberry Messenger. We've been really lucky to be able to talk over the course of this," said his wife, Amanda.

The last deployment for the KC-135's at Grand Forks Air Force Base left in July.

This last stratotanker is back after 60 days in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.. There had been four squadrons of tankers in recent years, and now this is the last one.

"It's been a historic piece of the base's history and the local community. Ties we have to the local community. We'll be wrapping that up. It's the end of the chapter," said Lt. Colonel Noel Bradford, Commander of the 905th Refueling Squadron.

The beginning of transitioning from an aerial refueling mission to an unmanned aerial system mission after 50 years.

"Ushering in the future of aviation. It will all be happening right here in the skies of North Dakota. Right here in Grand Forks," said Bradford.

They Air Force Base will deactivate the squadron by December. All of the tanker crews and jets will say goodbye to North Dakota as they head to surrounding states.

"It's Great to come home from a deployment and this is a little more exciting than normal. End of an era, like a chapter of a historic legacy and it's something to be proud of."

Tags: