906th Air Refueling Squadron embraces ‘Spartan Spirit’ for AMC’s global mobility mission

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- The 906th Air Refueling Squadron at Scott wears many hats.

For one, the 906th is an Active Association squadron with the Illinois National Guard’s 126th Air Refueling Wing.

In addition, the unit provides global aerial refueling, airlift and aeromedical evacuation capabilities to combatant commanders at a moment’s notice and executes worldwide KC-135R missions.

The 906th pride themselves on their “Spartan Spirit,” being named after the Spartans for having a small team while still accomplishing tasks and missions of a larger organization.

Lt. Col. Christopher Schlachter, 906th ARS commander, is responsible for the safety, discipline, welfare and readiness of all assigned personnel in order to support nine Air National Guard aircraft.

“As a smaller ARS we have the same percentage of manning; however, the overall numbers are lower,” said Schlachter “Therefore, when curveballs are thrown at us, it is challenging to replace people because we have a smaller pool to select from.”

The 906th ARS comprises Airmen from three different groups to include aircraft maintainers, supply, communications, and more.

“Some of these work centers only have one active duty member,” said Master Sgt. Chris Yanke 906th ARS maintenance superintendent. “When that individual deploys or takes leave, we can count on our guard counterparts to ensure the organization does not miss a beat.

“We are tasked to support many different missions and keep our force prepared for any mission that the Combatant Command, Air Mobility Command or Air National Guard can throw at us, including our nuclear support mission. Occasionally, this spreads us thin.”

Yanke said having selfless professionals to work with affords them the opportunity to adapt to the requirements of the leaders and the ever-changing world.

His team is equipped and prepared to handle any assigned mission.

The 126th ARW provides the aircraft and equipment utilized by the 906th ARS to complete their mission as well as operational direction in order to offer unity of direction.

“The partnership amongst the 375th Air Mobility Wing and the 126th ARW has created an environment for our Airmen to grow into Air Force leaders with the understanding of unique capabilities and strength,” said Schlachter.

“I am extremely excited to lead such great professionals and know that I have the outstanding support from two of the most highly regarded organizations in the Air Force.”