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News > Active Associate 906th Air Refueling Squadron stands up at Scott Air Force Base
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 The 906th ARS underwent a "flag move" without personnel and equipment to Scott AFB from Grand Forks AFB, N.D. The 906th has a notable history of service to the Air Force and will continue that service from its new home at Scott AFB. Active duty Airmen comprised of aircrew, maintenance and support personnel began assignment to the 906th ARS as early as July 2009. The squadron is expected to be fully staffed, with approximately 135 Airmen, and operational by fall 2011.
 
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906th ARS
Capt. Matt Mills, (left), and Capt. Doug Booser, both KC-135R Stratotanker pilots with the 906th Air Refueling Squadron, take part in a pre-flight crewbriefing prior to an aerial refueling mission for the 906th ARS. Their flight on Sept. 9, 2009, marked the first time that an all active duty crew flew planes owned and maintained by the 126th Air Refueling Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Ken Stephens)
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Active Associate 906th Air Refueling Squadron stands up at Scott Air Force Base

Posted 10/2/2009   Updated 10/2/2009 Email story   Print story

    


by 126th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
126th ARW


10/2/2009 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- As part of the Air Force's ongoing Total Force Integration (TFI) efforts, the 906th Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) raised its flag today at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. 

The 906th ARS is an Active Association squadron with the Illinois National Guard's 126th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) serving as its host organization for all associated personnel. The 126th ARW will have operational direction and control of missions and assets, while the 375th Air Mobility Wing (AMW), specifically the 375th Operations Group, will be administratively responsible for the 906th's personnel. 

Lt. Col. Joe Santos took command of the 906th ARS today in a small, but significant ceremony at the base. 

"It is truly an honor to have been selected to command the 906th Air Refueling Squadron," said Santos. "The 906th has a long and distinguished history of service in the Air Force and I am proud to be able to continue with that proud heritage as an Active Duty Associate Squadron, assigned the 375th Operations Group and working side-by-side with the professional men and women of the 126th Air Refueling Wing." 

A ceremony is being planned for a future date, to recognize and honor both the 906th ARS and the 375 AMW's re-designation. 

The 906th ARS underwent a "flag move" without personnel and equipment to Scott AFB from Grand Forks AFB, N.D. The 906th has a notable history of service to the U.S. Air Force and will continue that service from its new home at Scott AFB. Active Duty Airmen comprised of aircrew, maintenance and support personnel began assignment to the 906th ARS as early as July 2009. The squadron is expected to be fully staffed, with approximately 135 Airmen, and operational by the fall 2011. 

Under this Active Association, the Airmen assigned to the 906th will work side-by-side 126th Airmen flying and maintaining the Air Guard's fleet of aircraft to accomplish the wing's missions to include contingency deployments. 

"The legacy of the 126th Air Refueling Wing is proven with its nearly 60 years of service to the nation and over 80 years of flying with the 108th Air Refueling Squadron," said Col. Peter Nezamis, 126th Air Refueling Wing Commander. "During the nation's most troubled times, the 126th has always answered the call. The Wing's decorated accomplishments reflect the dedication of its officers and Airmen. This association will provide increased efficiencies through a combination of factors coupled with greater aircraft availability, utilization and trained Airmen all increasing the command's capability to support world-wide aerial refueling requirements." 

This association is one of three Active Associate KC-135 Stratotanker units taking shape today. The other Active Associate units are located at Birmingham Air National Guard Base, Ala., and Pease ANGB, N.H. These associated units will provide greater day-to-day mission capabilities and will help the Total Air Force more efficiently utilize its KC-135 force. Such associations also generate efficiencies by sharing resources and reducing duplication of effort, increasing overall air refueling capability and preserving a corporate body of knowledge. They also help to improve aircrew and maintenance expertise levels, capitalizing on the long-term experience resident in Air National Guard units. 

General Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said that this initiative is critical to the success of the Air Force. 

"Total Force Integration builds on state and regional capabilities, thereby increasing economic efficiencies and enhancing the Air Force's ability to defend the Homeland against emerging threats and respond to natural disasters," he said. 

The 126th ARW is the oldest Air National Guard unit in Illinois and the first Air Refueling unit in the Air National Guard. 

"The Illinois Air National Guard's 126th Air Refueling Wing is an outstanding unit with a great history," said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "Our Illinois Airmen have an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience that makes the 126th Air Refueling Wing ideal to become an associate unit with the Air Force." 

The 126th ARW has participated in nearly every major contingency of the 20th Century and continues to support today's Global War on Terror. The Wing recently deployed nearly 50

members in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and since Sept. 11 has deployed more than 2,240 Airmen, off-loaded more than 14.6 million gallons of JP-8 jet fuel, and transported more than 675 tons of cargo. 

Wing members have also received various awards including one Purple Heart, 25 Air Achievement Medals, three Air Medals, more than 65 Meritorious Service Awards and one Air Force Combat Action Medal. The unit traces its roots back to Midway Airport then to Orchard Place Airport, now Chicago O'Hare Airport, until a Base Realignment and Closure directed move brought the unit to Scott AFB in 1999. 

Interested media members may contact the 126th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Office at 618-222-5761 or 618-222-5785 for more information.



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