USAF KC-135s relocating to Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Cabinet granted the US Air Force permission to station four Boeing KC -135 refuelling aircraft, along with their flight and support staff, in Bourgas. The planes would be stationed at Bourgas Airport between May 12 and June 12.

The four KC-135 aircraft need to be relocated because the US Incirlik air base in Turkey is undergoing routine maintenance, the Cabinet press service said in a statement. The Incirlik base is close to Adana, Turkey’s fifth largest city, and some56 km from the Mediterranean Sea. The base there is used by both US and Turkish forces.

The tanker aircraft will refuel cargo and transport airplanes bound for Afghanistan, participating in the ISAF mission there.

Structurally, the KC-135 is similar but not identical to the Boeing 707 commercial airliner. It is a swept-wing, long range, high altitude, high speed jet transport. The primary mission of the KC-135 is the refueling of strategic long-range bombers. It also provides air refueling support to Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft as well as aircraft of allied nations. The KC-135 tanker aircraft is equipped with a flying boom for fuel transfer; a special drogue can be attached to the boom on the ground so it can refuel probe-equipped aircraft.



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