Pease to airlift National Guardsmen for inauguration day support

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Aaron Vezeau

The New Hampshire Air National Guard is scheduled to transport almost 500 Guardsmen from around the country to Washington to support the presidential inauguration Jan. 20.

This weekend, an aircrew from Pease Air National Guard Base is expected to transport 50 guardsmen from New Hampshire and an additional 450 from Nevada and Oklahoma to Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

Capt. Josh Stewart, a pilot assigned to the 157th Air Refueling Wing, explained the differences between transporting troops with the legacy KC-135 and the new KC-46A Pegasus.

“With the KC-135 it was easy because we had troop seats on board,” Stewart said. “With the KC-46A, because of its many configuration capabilities, there’s a bit more planning required to get these Guardsmen down to Washington D.C.”

When complete, the transport will be Pease’s largest passenger movement to date with KC-46A.

“It’s pretty awesome we get to support this mission with this new aircraft,” said Senior Airman Jordan Moore, a boom operator assigned to the 157th Operations Group. “To use this aircraft for what it was designed to do is exciting.”

Some of Pease’s most experienced pilots have never supported a troop movement quite like this one. 

“I had the experience of flying the KC-135 and C-130 and moving passengers before,” said Lt. Col. Walter Hale, a pilot assigned to the 133rd Air Refueling Squadron. “This is a unique mission I get to do with the Air National Guard; moving Army National Guard troops for something this big.”