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Flying Bandits Strike Again

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Senior Airman Rob Poe, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, trains Senior Airman Jeremiah Ibarra, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, on the in-flight refueling system on Nov. 26. In-flight refueling system operators make a difference by safely and completely checking the aircraft before any mission. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Roy Lynch III)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Senior Airman Rob Poe, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, trains Senior Airman Jeremiah Ibarra, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, on the in-flight refueling system on Nov. 26. In-flight refueling system operators make a difference by safely and completely checking the aircraft before any mission. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Roy Lynch III)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Senior Airman Rob Poe, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, pulls training records for the days training session on Nov. 26. In-flight refueling system operators make a difference by safely and completely checking the aircraft before any mission. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Roy Lynch III)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Senior Airman Rob Poe, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, pulls training records for the days training session on Nov. 26. In-flight refueling system operators make a difference by safely and completely checking the aircraft before any mission. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Roy Lynch III)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman 1st Class Lindsey Gillis, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, works on computer base training for mission certification training to become an in-flight refueling system operator on Nov. 26. In-flight refueling system operators make a difference by safely and completely checking the aircraft before any mission. (Photo by Airman 1stClass Roy Lynch III)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman 1st Class Lindsey Gillis, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, works on computer base training for mission certification training to become an in-flight refueling system operator on Nov. 26. In-flight refueling system operators make a difference by safely and completely checking the aircraft before any mission. (Photo by Airman 1stClass Roy Lynch III)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Staff Sgt. Charles Adams, 22nd Air Refueling Squadron, test his helmet for leaks during his pre-flight inspection on Nov. 26.   Sergeant Adams is in mission certification training to become an in-flight refueling system operator.  In-flight refueling system operator is one of only a few Air Force careers that allow enlisted members to fly. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Staff Sgt. Charles Adams, 22nd Air Refueling Squadron, test his helmet for leaks during his pre-flight inspection on Nov. 26. Sergeant Adams is in mission certification training to become an in-flight refueling system operator. In-flight refueling system operator is one of only a few Air Force careers that allow enlisted members to fly. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Staff Sgt. Justin Adams, 22nd Operations Support Squadron, Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, performs an operational inspect on a pair night vision goggles before a pre-flight on Nov. 26.  (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Staff Sgt. Justin Adams, 22nd Operations Support Squadron, Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, performs an operational inspect on a pair night vision goggles before a pre-flight on Nov. 26. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman 1st Class Cody Jaglowicz, 22nd Operations Support Squadron, Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, uses a hose clamps to secure a delivery hose to the oxygen valve and the three pong bayonet.  The Aircrew Flight Equipment provides and maintains the survival equipment for the air crew personnel.  (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman 1st Class Cody Jaglowicz, 22nd Operations Support Squadron, Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, uses a hose clamps to secure a delivery hose to the oxygen valve and the three pong bayonet. The Aircrew Flight Equipment provides and maintains the survival equipment for the air crew personnel. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Senior Airman Jeremiah Ibarra, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, checks the plane for any damage on Nov. 26. In-flight refueling system operators make a difference by safely and completely checking the aircraft before any mission. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Roy Lynch III)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Senior Airman Jeremiah Ibarra, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, checks the plane for any damage on Nov. 26. In-flight refueling system operators make a difference by safely and completely checking the aircraft before any mission. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Roy Lynch III)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman 1st Class Cody Jaglowicz, 22nd Operations Support Squadron, Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, removes the communication cord from around the oxygen hose before cleaning a helmet.  Every 90 days the Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians have to inspect and clean all helmets.  The Aircrew Flight Equipment provides and maintains the survival equipment for the air crew personnel.  (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Airman 1st Class Cody Jaglowicz, 22nd Operations Support Squadron, Aircrew Flight Equipment technician, removes the communication cord from around the oxygen hose before cleaning a helmet. Every 90 days the Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians have to inspect and clean all helmets. The Aircrew Flight Equipment provides and maintains the survival equipment for the air crew personnel. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- 22nd Operations Support Squadron, Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians, Airman 1st Class Christina Smith watches Airman 1st Class Cody Jaglowicz clean an oxygen regulator connector.  Every 90 days the Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians have to inspect and clean all helmets.  The Aircrew Flight Equipment provides and maintains the survival equipment for the air crew personnel.  (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- 22nd Operations Support Squadron, Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians, Airman 1st Class Christina Smith watches Airman 1st Class Cody Jaglowicz clean an oxygen regulator connector. Every 90 days the Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians have to inspect and clean all helmets. The Aircrew Flight Equipment provides and maintains the survival equipment for the air crew personnel. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- 1st Lt. Mike Deprey, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, looks at an award document on Nov. 26. 1st Lt Mike Deprey is an Executive Officer and his job deals with a lot of behind the scenes paper work like, Officer Performance Reports, Enlisted Performance Reports, award packages and also deal with new arrivals as well as departing Air Force Members. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Roy Lynch III)
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MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- 1st Lt. Mike Deprey, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, looks at an award document on Nov. 26. 1st Lt Mike Deprey is an Executive Officer and his job deals with a lot of behind the scenes paper work like, Officer Performance Reports, Enlisted Performance Reports, award packages and also deal with new arrivals as well as departing Air Force Members. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Roy Lynch III)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The 349th Air Refueling Squadron received its nickname as the "Beale Bandits" while attached to Beale Air Force Base, Calif. It was activated at McConnell on January 1, 1994, as part of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, and the squadron decided to keep the nickname "Bandits."

The 349th Air Refueling Squadron contributed to the wing's 2007 fiscal year flying mission. The squadron aided the wing with the flight of more than 24,000 refueling hours with a total off-load of 120 million pounds of fuel.

"I am excited to know that I directly impact the safety of the 349th ARS aircrew," said Airman 1st Class Christina Smith, 22nd Operations Support Squadron, Aircrew Flight Equipment technician.

"Entering the Air Force, I never realized how important my job would be until I got here, my first duty station, and I put a face to the piece of equipment I maintain," added Airman Smith. "It was at that point my job became personal to me. I take pride in my work and what I do for the 349th ARS."

The 349th ARS is a part of the 22nd Operations Group, which supervises operations in support of strategic force projection and mobility, special operations, tactical air operations, and humanitarian assistance efforts. The 349th ARS flies KC-135R Stratotankers in support of worldwide Air Mobility Command, U.S. Transportation Command, Air Force, Department of Defense, and allied operations anywhere in the world.

"It is an honor to be associated with the KC-135R Stratotankers and its history, spanning more than 50 years," said Capt. Michael Lashinski, a 349th ARS pilot. "The KC-135R Stratotankers are a Cold War icon and have transformed into so much more."