HomeNewsArticle Display

100th ARW increases readiness with new KC-135 variant

A Block 45 variant of a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft sits in front of a Block 40 variant of a KC-135 aircraft at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, Nov. 24, 2021. The 100th Air Refueling Wing received its first Block 45 model of KC-135, which brings additional capabilities to the wing’s mission of delivering rapid air refueling throughout Europe and Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joseph Barron)

A Block 45 variant of a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft sits in front of a Block 40 variant of a KC-135 aircraft at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, Nov. 24, 2021. The 100th Air Refueling Wing received its first Block 45 model of the KC-135, which brings additional capabilities to the wing’s mission of delivering rapid air refueling throughout Europe and Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joseph Barron)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing move a Block 45 variant of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft along the flightline at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, Nov. 24, 2021. The Block 45 variant of KC-135 is equipped with advanced autopilot and glass display instrument features. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joseph Barron)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing move a Block 45 variant of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft along the flightline at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, Nov. 24, 2021. The Block 45 variant of the KC-135 is equipped with advanced autopilot and glass display instrument features. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joseph Barron)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft of variant Block 45 lands at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, Nov. 24, 2021. The 100th Air Refueling Wing is the last active-duty unit in the U.S. Air Force to receive the Block 45 variant of KC-135. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joseph Barron)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft of variant Block 45 lands at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, Nov. 24, 2021. The 100th Air Refueling Wing is the last active-duty unit in the U.S. Air Force to receive the Block 45 variant of KC-135. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joseph Barron)

ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England --

The 100th Air Refueling Wing received a new model of a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, Nov. 24. 

The 100th ARW is the last active-duty unit in the U.S. Air Force to receive the model, which is known as the Block 45 variant. 

"With RAF Mildenhall now having one Block 45 aircraft, all active duty squadrons in the U.S. Air Force have some Block 40 and 45 variant of the KC-135," said Capt. Nicholas Boonstra, 351st Air Refueling Squadron pilot.

The aircraft's arrival brings additional capabilities to the 100th ARW that contribute to the wing's rapid delivery of fuel throughout Europe and Africa. 

"The autopilot is more advanced and the Block 45 variant replaces the old engine instruments with a giant glass display," said Boonstra. "With more capabilities, we are expected to achieve higher mission readiness."