Romania’s F-16 Falcon Gets its First Air Refueling by USAF’s KC-135

The US Air Force (USAF) has finished the first air-to-air refueling mission between a KC-135 Stratotanker and a Romanian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.

The USAF's 100th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) has helped the Romanian Air Force to get certified to obtain fuel from all US KC-135s. The 100th ARW, based at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, sent a 14-person crew and a KC-135 to Romania in support of the mission.

351st Air Refueling Squadron superintendent and a KC-135 boom operator Senior Master Sergeant Lee Adkins said, “It’s important for the interoperability between the two nations, because it shows our continuing cooperation with our partner nations here in the region. It’s amazing to be a part of and it’s something I don’t take lightly.”

Preceding to the latest mission, the Romanian Air Force F-16 has refueled from an Italian Airbus A330. The USAF stated it must achieve acclimatization training and certification to receive fuel from a US tanker and further their Nato integration. The 100th ARW is the only US air refueling unit in the European and African theatre. The Romanian Air Force presently operates a fleet of 12 F-16s bought from Portugal. The captain Mahaita Marin who is the F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot in Romanian Air Force said, “The air-to-air refueling (AAR) is a milestone for a developing air force, and I am definitely proud to be part of it.”

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