Desert Storm Tanker Lessons Learned

Welcome to the sixty-second episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast and I’m your host Mark Hasara, a former Air Force KC-135 pilot, flying all over the world passing gas!

Recently I had a conversation with a colleague on how far the Air Force tanker community had come since Deseet Stomr and the old Strategic Air Command days of the Single Integrated Operations Plan, the nuclear war plan. I felt the tanker community during Desert Storm was not prepared for high-density, high-ops-tempo air refueling operations because it wasn’t our primary focus. This episode lays out what I feel are the air refueling lessons learned during the Desert Storm air campaign. 

This episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast is sponsored and financially supported by the book Tanker Pilot found on Amazon which can be purchased in hardback, softback (photos in black and white), Kindle, and Audible (extra file contains the color pictures).

Wall Pilot, custom aviation art for the walls of your home, office, or hanger has many of the aircraft of Desert Storm available in four, six, and eight-foot-long graphics printed on vinyl you can peel off and stick to any flat surface. Wall Pilot also creates custom aircraft artwork at the website 

The 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron shot down the most Iraqi Air Force MiG and Mirage aircraft during the Desert Storm air campaign. This F-15C was flown by Captain Cesar “Rico” Rodriguez on his two MiG Kill missions.

On the first night of the Desert Storm air campaign, my KC-135 crew refueled COORS 31-34 flight of F-4G Wild Weasels, commanded by Lt Col George “John Boy” Walton flying this F-4G tail number that night.

The EF-111A Spark Vark jamming aircraft was part of the Iraqi Integrated Air Defense Network takedown flying with COORS 31 flight and their four F-4G Wild Weasels.

This 335th Tac Fighter Squadron F-15E dropped a 2000 lbs GBU-10 laser-guided bomb on a hovering helicopter and is now the Chief’s squadron flagship.

Large groups of F-111F Aardvarks spread out through Iraqi using laser and tv guided weapons to destroy possible chemical weapons facilities armed like this F-111F from the 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron from the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath England.

The USS John F Kennedy airwing had two squadrons of Vought Corsair II attack aircraft loaded the first night with AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles or HARM like this VA-72 Blue Hawks A-7E

The 17th Tac Fighter Squadron deployed in their F-16C Fighting Falcons to Al Minhad Air Base in the UAE flying thousands of missions during Desert Storm.

Strategic Air Command and Pacific Air Forces deployed 211 KC-135 Stratotankers to the Gulf Region during Operation Desert Storm. This KC-135R Model flew with the 909th Air Refueling Squadron based in Okinawa Japan.

Thanks for downloading this episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast! This and previous episodes of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast can be found on my website at

Check out this episode!

Mark Hasara

Have a great Day!

Sluggo Sends!

P.S. — If you’re reading my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in a review on Amazon here, I read them all.

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