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Governor and First Lady Fly with 101st Air Refueling Wing
August 9, 2011
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531
Bangor, Maine – The Governor and First Lady this morning boarded a flight in Bangor at the Air National Guard Base to observe the 101st Air Refueling Wing in action. Governor Paul LePage and First Lady Ann LePage witnessed what the 101st Wing does best – refuel aircraft in flight.
“This was amazing to see up close and personal,” said Governor LePage. To get a birds eye view travelling at over 400 miles per hour, establish contact with another jet and transfer fuel is an impressive sight to see.”
“It is a great day for the Maine Air Guard to have our Governor fly with us,” said Colonel John D’Errico, Wing Commander, 101sts Air Refueling Wing. Those aboard the orientation flight included Aircraft Commander, Colonel Doug Farnham; Co-Pilot, Major Bill Dunn; Boom Operator, CMSgt Jay Eillingsen; and Boom Operator, CMSgt Bob Phair.
Tuesday morning, four F-16s from the Vermont Air National Guard were refueled. Each was given approximately 1000 gallons of fuel. The Governor’s participation was the first time a Governor took part in an orientation flight since Governor Angus King did in December of 1995.
The federal mission of the 101st Air Refueling Wing is to employ air refueling, airlift, Aerospace Expeditionary forces, and Expeditionary Combat Support forces to ongoing military operations worldwide. Considered some of the best trained in the United States Air Force, the 101st Air Refueling Wing processes more jet fuel than all the 88 Air National Guard units in the country. Since October 2010 to the present, the unit has flown 186 missions in support of the war effort, and off loaded 1.9 million gallons of fuel in the air. In addition, the Wing has received more than 750 transient aircraft onto the Bangor base and provided 1.7 million gallons of fuel on the ground.
“The work our Maine Air National Guard is doing is a job that many of us aren’t aware of, but it’s a mission that is incredibly important,” First Lady Ann LePage said Tuesday. “To take part in this flight was an eye opening experience to the different responsibilities of our military.”