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Old 11-13-2018, 09:56 AM
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Question US Air Force KC-135 damage in Australia interrupts bomber training mission

US Air Force KC-135 damage in Australia interrupts bomber training mission
By: Mike Yeo - 1-13-18 1 hour ago

MELBOURNE, Australia ó A U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker was damaged Tuesday during a ground-handling incident at an Australian airport.

A tug, under operation by Australian airlines Qantas, was pushing the KC-135R aircraft from its parking bay at Sydneyís Kingsford Smith International Airport when one of the tankerís nose landing gear doors was damaged by the tug.

According to a source familiar with the incident, the incident fractured the KC-135Rís rear nose landing gear door; its planned mission is now canceled.

A second KC-135R, which had earlier been pushed back in preparation for takeoff, was also subsequently towed back by a replacement tug.

The two KC-135R tankers, call signs LULU23 and LULU24, are from the Air Force Reserve Commandís 72nd Air Refueling Squadron, 434th Air Refueling Wing, which is based at Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana and arrived in Sydney earlier in the week from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

Defense News understands their role was to provide tanker support for a pair of B-52 bombers, call sign ADIOS01 and ADIOS02, conducting an Air Force Global Strike Command training mission to Australiaís eastern seaboard the same day as the incident. The B-52s also arrived from Guam, where they were deployed on a rotational basis as part of Global Strike Commandís Continuous Bomber Presence mission.

While the damage to the KC-135R does not appear to be serious, its inability to take off to support the B-52s meant the bombers had to amend their initial plan to directly return to Guam after their training mission. The bombers instead diverted to Darwin in northern Australia to spend the night there.

Defense News has contacted both Qantas, who operated the aircraft tug involved in the incident, as well as Andersen Air Force Base for comment.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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