The United States Air Force has mastered the art of in-flight refueling. These men and women, from pilot to crew, perform in-flight refueling aircrew functions and activities according to flight manuals, checklists, and United States Air Force publications. Consider the logistics involved in meeting another plane in the sky at 20,000 ft traveling 300+ miles per hour. The rendezvous point alone is tiny, now do it at night.
What do in-flight refueling specialist / crewmen do? They perform in-flight refueling aircrew duties and visual and operational check of air refueling and associated systems and equipment. the aircrew perform pre-flight, through-flight, and post-flight inspections and accomplish pre-flight and post-flight records and reports. Performs in-flight operational check of air refueling systems. Directs receiver aircraft into air refueling position. Operates in-flight air refueling controls and switches to safely affect contact between tanker and receiver aircraft. Monitors control panel for proper operation of equipment during air refueling and advises receiver pilot of actions required to safely maintain position within the air-refueling envelope. Keeps tanker pilot informed as to progress of air refueling operations. Performs emergency operations and procedures as required for emergency off-load and on-load of fuel.
Computing weight and balance data, procedures, and techniques and ascertains fuel, personnel, cargo, and emergency and special equipment weight and distribution to compute aircraft weight and balance are a few more of the responsibilities of the aircrew of inflight refueling operations. The air crew ensures the aircraft is properly loaded within safe operating limits and provides weight and balance data for computing takeoff and landing data. Completes weight and balance forms for flight. They also prepare and verify load plans, directs cargo loading, and unloading operations, and inspects aircraft load to ensure hazardous cargo compliance and weight and balance status of aircraft. Ensures adequate safety equipment and passenger comfort items are on aboard aircraft. Instructs passengers in use of emergency equipment and emergency procedures.
Additional Info: You will be on flying status as a Career Enlisted Aviator. You will be a crewmember, regularly required to fly with the aircraft. You will perform the above specialty duties during trips to all areas of the world.
An In-Flight Refueling Apprentice is more commonly called a Boom Operator. You will be responsible for operating the equipment in the KC135 or KC10 "tanker" aircraft that connects to the "receiver" aircraft in flight so fuel can be transferred. This equipment is called a "flying boom" hence the term "Boom Operator." You will also receive in basic navigation, cargo handling, and passenger transport operations
Knowledge is mandatory of: electrical and mechanical principles applying to aircraft and related systems; flight theory; aircraft electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems applying to in-flight refueling system; normal and emergency operation of aircraft refueling systems; flying directives; weight and balance factors; cargo tie-down techniques; minor in-flight maintenance; using personal equipment and oxygen; communication and aircraft emergency procedures; and using and interpreting diagrams, loading charts, technical publications, and flight manuals.
Education. For entry into this specialty, completion of high school with courses in physics and mathematics is desirable.
Training. For award of AFSC 1A031, completion of the basic boom operator course is mandatory.
Experience. The following are mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated: (Note: See Explanation of Air Force Specialty Codes).
1A051. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1A031. Also, experience performing functions such as: inspecting, operating, and troubleshooting in-flight refueling systems; preparing or verifying load plans; loading and unloading aircraft; and instructing passengers in the use of emergency equipment and procedures.
1A071. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1A051. Also, experience performing or supervising functions such as: inspecting, operating, and troubleshooting in-flight refueling systems; preparing loading plans; loading and unloading cargo on aircraft; and instructing passengers in the use of emergency equipment and procedures.
1A091. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1A071. Also, experience in directing functions pertaining to in-flight refueling operator activities.
Other. The following qualifications are mandatory as indicated:
For entry, award, and retention of these AFSCs:
Physical qualification for in-flight refueling operation duty according to AFI 48-123 Medical Examination and Standards.
Qualification for aviation service according to AFI 11-402 , Aviation and Parachutist Service, Aeronautical Ratings and badges.
NOTE: Award of the 3-skill level without a final Top Secret (TS) clearance is authorized provided an interim TS has been granted according to AFI 31-501.
Note: This job requires a Sensitive Job Code(SJC) of "F."
Strength Req: K
Physical Profile: 111121 (Vision uncorrected 20/400-20/400; correctable to 20/20-20/20)
Required Appitude Score : G-53 (Changed to G-55, effective 1 July 2004)
- Enlisted Aircrew Undergraduate Course, Lackland AFB, TX, 2 weeks, 3 days
- Combat Survival Training Course, Fairchild AFB, WA, 17 days
- Water Survival-Parachuting Course, Pensacola NAS, FL, 4 days
- Basic Boom Operator Course, Altus AFB, OK, 14 days
- KC-135 Initial Qualification Course (note 1), Altus AFB, OK, 14 weeks, 3 days
- KC-10 Initial Qualification Course (note 1), McGuire (NJ) or Travis (CA) AFBs,, 14 weeks, 3 days
Note 1: Will attend one course, not both