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940th ARW hosts orientation flight

Honorary Commander Flight

A KC-135 Stratotanker from the 940th Air Refueling Wing at Beale Air Force Base, California, refuels a C-5 Galaxy with the 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, California during a civic leader orientation flight here Sept. 8. The 940th ARW flew honorary commanders to give them a first-hand and up-close experience of the unit's mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Sam Unruh)

Honorary Commander flight

TSgt Ryan Korhuniak, a boom operator with the 314th Air Refueling Squadron, gives a pre-flight safety briefing to honorary commanders before an orientation flight here Sept. 8. The four hour mission gave local civic leaders an up close first-hand experience of in-flight refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt Kenneth McCann)

Honorary Commander Flight

The 940th Air Refueling Wing Medical Group Honorary commander Jason Banks witnesses and in-flight refuel of a C-5 Galaxy out of Travis Air Force Base, California Sept.8, as boom operator TSgt Ryan Korhuniak works the controls. The 940th ARW at Beale Air Force Base hosted a civic leader flight, the first one since the unit converted back to the tankers in 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt Kenneth McCann)

Honorary Commander flight

The 940th Air Refueling Wing Mission Support Group Honorary commander Dennis Roberts watches and in-flight refuel of a C-5 Galaxy out of Travis Air Force Base, California Sept.8, as boom operator TSgt Ryan Korhuniak works the controls. The 940th ARW at Beale Air Force Base hosted a civic leader flight, the first one since the unit converted back to the tankers in 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt Kenneth McCann)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 940th Air Refueling Wing hosted an orientation flight for their honorary commanders here Sept. 8. Civic leaders from the local Beale Air Force Base area, who also serve as honorary commanders, took to the air in a KC-135 Stratotanker.  This is the first civic leader flight the wing has hosted since converting back to the tankers in 2016.

The four hour mission flew local to Beale and air refueled a C-5 Galaxy from the 349th Air Mobility Wing out of Travis Air Force Base, California. It gave a firsthand look at the 940th ARW and its aerial refueling mission.

“This was an amazing experience today to be able to fly in the KC-135, witness an in-flight refuel, and to meet some Airmen at the 940th ARW,” said Ken Meyers, Managing Director, R W Baird & Company in Grass Valley, California and 940th Maintenance Group honorary commander. “It looks like it takes precise skill and that it can be dangerous at the same time, but it just shows how well trained, professional, and skilled these Airmen are.”

Myers said his goal is to take back what he learned to his community and try to get local members more involved with the base and stress the importance of the partnership between the two.

“We have many military members that live in and retire in our community and it is vital, economic as well as strategic military presence, for our region, Meyers said. “The Reservists of this wing can contribute a lot to our local workforce and can make a big difference as far as bringing experienced people to some of the more rural areas surrounding the base.”

Live Oaks, California council member Jason Banks, 940th Medical Group honorary commander, said he felt incredibly privileged to be given this opportunity to witness the professionalism of the Airmen and get an understanding of the technicality of their job even in a day to day routine.

“It is very important to continue to have a partnership between Beale and the surrounding community,” said Banks. “I think the average person who doesn’t have the experience that I’ve had today, really doesn’t understand the amazing impact that Beale has on our community.”

Banks said that many military people who have careers here end up retiring in the area and are a strong fiber within the community.

Mission Support group honorary commander Dennis Roberts, a Grass Valley, California restaurant Owner said this was an excellent experience for him. 

“It always amazes me how our country is being guarded by our military who pride themselves on doing the best job they can out here every day of their life,” said Roberts.