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NEWS | April 11, 2023

305th MXS conducts final KC-10 inspection

By Senior Airman Sergio Avalos Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

On Apr. 10, 2023, the 305th Maintenance Squadron conducted its final inspection of the KC-10 Extender, marking the end of an era for the 305th Air Mobility Wing’s legacy refueling tanker.

For the inspection, maintenance personnel will spend a week conducting vigorous tests and observations, ensuring all components of the aircraft are functioning properly. 

“We use a two-phased approach when conducting aircraft inspections, including the ‘look phase’ where every major component of the aircraft is inspected,” said Capt. Wesley Crawford, 305th MXS Flight officer in charge. “The second is the ‘fix phase’ where our maintainers resolve any issues found during the initial inspection.”

This final inspection also marks a significant milestone in the 305th AMW’s history, as they have fully converted to the KC-46A Pegasus. This represents a new chapter in air-to-air refueling capabilities for the Joint Force.

As one chapter ends, another begins while KC-10 maintainers at JB MDL transition to becoming fully qualified with the KC-46.

“We began strategically phasing maintainers off of the KC-10 to become our initial cadre and lead us in the KC-46 program,” said Senior Master Sgt. Adam Crothers, 305th MXS flight chief. “Leaving personnel who were strong in KC-10 maintenance for our final phase-out was pivotal in ensuring those aircraft were still operational until the very end.”

Now, the legacy tanker, having proven its value for decades, prepares to fly off into its last sunset. It leaves behind fond memories and a proud heritage for the maintainers, pilots, and aircrews who worked on it throughout their careers.

“It’s going to be bittersweet for all of us who have worked on the KC-10 to see it leave,” said Crothers. “There’s a huge emotional attachment to this aircraft, but we’re looking forward to fully transitioning over to the KC-46.”