March marks 10th anniversary of Operation Allied Force
By John P. Williamson, 100th Air Refueling Wing historian
/ Published March 17, 2009
RAF MILDENHALL, England -- When NATO's Operation Allied Force began on March 24, 1999, the Air Force activated the 100th Air Expeditionary Wing to "deploy, to receive, and to operate forces in support of NATO and U.S. operations."
This air flotilla of U.S. active duty and Air National Guard forces supported and refueled NATO and U.S. fighters, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft before and after their combat sorties to extend their loiter time and maximize their combat capability.
The American portion of the operations was called Operation Noble Anvil.
Four squadrons - the 351st Air Refueling Squadron, 100th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, 106th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, and the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron - and Air National Guard forces formed the backbone of the air refueling effort, flying a combined force of 51 KC-135 tankers for a total of 1,575 sorties, 14,395 hours, offloading 64,746,100 pounds of fuel to 5,245 NATO and U.S. receivers from three UK bases - RAFs Mildenhall, Brize Norton and Fairford. The purpose of Allied Force was to stop Serbian atrocities against the people of Kosovo.
The 100th Air Refueling Wing, 100th Operations Group and 351st Air Refueling Squadron were awarded the Kosovo Air campaign streamer for its part in the operation in 2008.
Statistics by Base:
RAF Mildenhall - 100th Expeditionary Operations Group
351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Air National Guard (March 24 to-
April 8, 1999), 100th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron (April 9 to June 20, 1999)
- 34 KC-135 Stratotankers
- 1,139 sorties (average 12.8/day)
- 7,771.0 hours (average 87.3/day)
- Offloaded 47,746,600 pounds of JP-8 to 3,786 receivers (average 536,480 pounds to 43 receivers daily)
RAF Brize Norton - 100th Expeditionary Group
106th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron
- 12 KC-135s
- 289 sorties
- 1,899.7 hours (avg. duration 6.7 hours)
- Offloaded 10,340,700 pounds of JP-8 to 882 receivers (average 40,000 pounds per sortie)
RAF Fairford - 2nd Air Expeditionary Group
22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron
- 5 KC-135s
- 147 sorties
- 1,052.6 hours
- 6,658,800 pounds of fuel offloaded to 577 receivers (average 11,540 pounds per sortie)