AFMC Command News

AFLCMC KC-10 Extender Program Office awarded for exceptional work

  • Published
  • By Allyson B. Crawford, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs

The KC-10 Extender Program Office is part of the AFLCMC Mobility Directorate. Located at Tinker AFB, the program office was recently awarded at the Air Force level for excellence, with the “PMO Major Weapon System” nod. The same team also won the AFMC-level 2023 “Dr. James G. Roche Product Support Excellence Award.”

The sustainment team is responsible for keeping 16 remaining KC-10 aircraft deployable.

Seventeen AFLCMC airmen share the awards, including logisticians, engineers, and equipment specialists. All the successes were completed during a 12-month period and presented in one large award submission. Names of the individuals are withheld for security reasons. 

Program highlights outlined in the awards submission include details such as:

The role the KC-10 played in the 2021 evacuation of Afghanistan. Over 40% of the KC-10 fleet was deployed to support the evacuation efforts. During the evacuation, over 3,000 Afghan civilians were carried on the storied tankers, marking a first for the aircraft. The KC-10’s primary role is that of an aerial refueler but can move support personnel and equipment overseas as needed.

Over 19 million gallons of fuel were delivered to combatant commands. The deployed KC-10s flew 4,000+ sorties (missions by a single aircraft). Over 6,000 aircraft were refueled by the KC-10s.

The KC-10 Sustainment Team has a role in Operation Spartan Shield (OSS). The Middle East US Central Command operation focuses on partner capacity in the Middle East. All American military units have a component in OSS. For their part, the KC-10 Sustainment Team literally kept the planes moving on time.

“When the Air Force no longer wanted to man Al Dhafra Air Base (near Abu Dhabi, UAE), the sustainment team quickly worked out the logistics to move the KC-10s to Prince Sultan Air Base (near Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia),” explains Tina Koreis, KC-10 Sustainment Section Chief. “The move happened in a matter of days. The team was so efficient, the move happened 11 days quicker than projected and there was no disruption to mission support capability from the KC-10 during the time of the move.”

The KC-10 Sustainment Team worked to speed up airframe turnaround time to save hundreds of available flight hours.

“We have different depots and one of our depots for our airframes is located in Greensboro, North Carolina,” Koreis says. “Contractually [the depots] have a 55-day turnaround time that they're supposed to meet, but they averaged 53-day turnaround time. That equates to 30 days of giving back to the Air Force for mission readiness and mission capability. That is like 720 aircraft availability hours back to the warfighter,” she adds.

Koreis and her team have not yet received their award plaques yet but are eager to celebrate when the time comes.

By September 2024, the Air Force inventory of KC-10s will be decommissioned and be replaced by the new KC-46 airframe.