KC 10 1 640USAF Extenders for the last time used operationally

On 4 October 2023, during an inactivation ceremony at Prince Sultan Air Base (Saudi Arabia), the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, part of the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing, marked the sunset of the McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender.

By dragging F-35As back from the Middle East towards the Continental United States (CONUS), the last operational deployment, carried out by multiple KC-10As, came to an end. The last mission highlighted the legacy of the multi-mission (tanker/ transport) capable Extender, after being used thirty years within the US Air Forces Central (AFCENT) Area of Responsibility (AOR).

The KC-10A will continue to fly for the next year until all of them have retired and crews have cross-trained on the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus. It is expected that before September 2024, the USAFs inventory of Extenders will be decommissioned and have been gradually replaced by the Pegasus.

As more KC-46As are delivered each month, some ten Extenders are still being used with the 60th Air Mobility Wing and Air Force Reserve Command's associate 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB (CA).

KC 10 2 320On 5 October 2023, as the last aircraft left Saudi Arabia, the following KC-10As were noted at Spangdahlem AB (Germany): 83-0078, 84-0189, 86-0031 and 86-0033. Some days later, before crossing the pond, Hill AFB (UT) based F-35As were picked up by the Extenders. On 27 July 2023, Scramble Magazine wrote about the swift move of USAF F-35As to the Middle East.

Credit photo: USAF
Credit Aircraft Tracker: ADS-B

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