The two Boeing F/A-18 Hornet fighters approach the 27-meter-long hoses trailing from the wings of the Airbus airliner like hungry calves seeking out a mother’s teat. High above Lakes Entrance in East Gippsland, Australia, yesterday afternoon, the latest inclusion to the Royal Australian Air Force inventory, the KC-30A multirole tanker transport, demonstrated how Australia was now able to project air power around the globe.
As the hose and drogue swayed in the turbulence, the fighter jets, from 77 Squadron at Williamtown in New South Wales, nosed in for what 24-year-old Hornet pilot Flying officer Brent Jones from Lake Macquarie, NSW, described as a “tricky” job.
“Most things about flying a fighter are fast and reactive and based on adrenaline, but tanking is slow and deliberate,” Flying Officer Jones said.
For the complete story by Ian McPhedran of News Limited Network via the Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), click here.