Air Force supports Navy during Western Pacific deployment

U.S. Air Force Captains Marissa Strauss and Tyler Branyan, 909th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker pilots, conduct a preflight check prior to a sortie Feb. 27, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan.  The 909th ARS supported the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) with training and refueling operations during the carrier’s regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of the U.S. 3rd Fleet in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft/Released)

U.S. Air Force Captains Marissa Strauss and Tyler Branyan, 909th Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) KC-135 Stratotanker pilots, conduct a preflight check prior to a sortie Feb. 27, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 909th ARS supported the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) with training and refueling operations during the carrier’s regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of the U.S. 3rd Fleet in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Reft/Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 takes off from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during flight operations Jan. 25, 2017, on the Pacific Ocean. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is on a Western Pacific deployment as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 takes off from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during flight operations Jan. 25, 2017, on the Pacific Ocean. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is on a Western Pacific deployment as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Pacific Ocean Feb. 9, 2017. The ship's carrier strike group is on a western Pacific deployment as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zackary Alan Landers/Released)

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Pacific Ocean Feb. 9, 2017. The ship's carrier strike group is on a western Pacific deployment as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zackary Alan Landers/Released)

U.S. Navy Sailors position aircraft and fuel cells on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) hangar bay elevator for transport to the flight deck, Nov. 7, 2016, on the Pacific Ocean. The Carl Vinson Strike Group conducted Composite Training Unit Exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment. (U.S. Navy Photo by Seaman Daniel P. Jackson Norgart/Released)

U.S. Navy Sailors position aircraft and fuel cells on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) hangar bay elevator for transport to the flight deck, Nov. 7, 2016, on the Pacific Ocean. The Carl Vinson Strike Group conducted Composite Training Unit Exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment. (U.S. Navy Photo by Seaman Daniel P. Jackson Norgart/Released)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotankers from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron supported the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) with refueling support for fighter aircraft over the Philippine Sea throughout last week.

The 909th KC-135s provided daily air refueling support to Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) F/A-18 Super Hornets and Growlers embarked aboard CVN-70 during the carrier’s regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of the U.S. 3rd Fleet in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

“The inflight refueling capabilities provided by the 909th ARS greatly increase sortie duration for CVW-2, directly increasing combat readiness and flexibility,” said Navy Commander Ashly Schwartz, Carrier Strike Group One (CSG-1) Air Operations officer. “It allows added tactical flexibility and a unique joint training opportunity for junior aircrew.”

909th Stratotankers in Carl Vinson’s airspace performed all refueling operations successfully for both day and night time operations.

“We gave them around-the-clock tanker support with 100 percent effectiveness,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Anthony Gole, 909th ARS KC-135 pilot. “A Navy operations officer on Carl Vinson thanked us for our mission effectiveness, our flexibility, helping them to achieve their training objectives, and our smooth operation procedures between the fighters and tankers.”

Gole added that the 909th’s support bolstered the Carl Vinson’s mission to enforce freedom of navigation and international norms of the South China Sea.

"Our forward presence contributes to freedom of navigation and lawful use of the sea, as well as furthers operational training and enabling the exchange of culture, skills, and tactical knowledge," said Rear Adm. James W. Kilby, CSG 1 commander, in an article published by the USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs office.

With not only the 909th ARS tanker support, but also the support from Team Kadena, Carl Vinson’s aerial refueling operations were executed flawlessly.

“I have to thank the maintainers who continued to get good jets in the air and enabled us to fully support Navy operations,” said Gole.

Throughout the 8 days of training, the 909th ARS offloaded 309,000 lbs. of fuel to 107 receivers from the Carl Vinson.