TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — The Kansas Air National Guard 190th Air Refueling Wing runs missions similar to those run by the Marine plane that crashed in Mississippi, Monday. The Topeka based unit flies refueling missions overseas.
The 190th ARW’s KC-135 Stratotankers are different from the Marine KC-130. However, both types of aircraft can be used to refuel other planes mid-air.
The vice-commander of the 190th Air Refueling Wing, Lt. Col. Daniel Skoda, said he, and others in his unit, woke up to the news of the crash. While he did not know any more information about the crash than what news outlets reported, he said the unit’s heart goes out to the families.
“Probably every single one of us is going to stop and pause and think about those aviators, think about their families and what they’re going through right now,” he said.
Lt. Col. Skoda said the profession of flying air tankers is inherently dangerous. The personnel in the 190th ARW train frequently and thoroughly to avoid problems as best they can.
“It only reinforces how we treat each mission, each day. There’s nothing that we can ever take out here as routine,” he said.
The unit has been housed at Forbes Field since 1967. They have service members deployed to serve in both the central command and the Pacific command.