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Checkered Flag 21-2 Aerial Refueling

Aerial refueling

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael Sage, 328th Aerial Refueling Squadron boom operator, provides fuel to a QF-16 assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Held twice per fiscal year, the exercise directly supported the Air Combat Command commander’s plan to train the Immediate Response Force, a dedicated force ready for worldwide, rapid response to unforeseen or unplanned operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

Boom operator

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael Sage, 328th Aerial Refueling Squadron boom operator, provides fuel to an aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. The 21-2 iteration of the Checkered Flag exercise involved more than 115 aircraft and 2,000 personnel from nine Air Force and Navy units, training together in approximately 25 aerial events (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

F-22 aerial refueling

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor assigned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Checkered Flag is a large-force aerial exercise held at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, which fosters readiness and interoperability through the incorporation of fourth and fifth-generation aircraft in combat training. The 21-2 iteration of the exercise was held May 10-21, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

QF-16 aerial refueling

A U.S. Air Force QF-16 assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Checkered Flag is a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth and fifth-generation airframes to enhance mobility, deployment, and employment capabilities of aviators and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

F-22 aerial refueling

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor assigned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, departs a KC-135 Stratotanker boom after receiving fuel over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Checkered Flag is a large-force aerial exercise held at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, which fosters readiness and interoperability through the incorporation of fourth and fifth-generation aircraft in combat training. The 21-2 iteration of the exercise was held May 10-21, 2021 (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

F-15 aerial refueling

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. The 21-2 iteration of the Checkered Flag exercise involved more than 115 aircraft and 2,000 personnel from nine Air Force and Navy units, training together in approximately 25 aerial events (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

F-15 aerial refueling

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Checkered Flag is a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth and fifth-generation airframes to enhance mobility, deployment, and employment capabilities of aviators and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

F-22 aerial refueling

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor assigned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Checkered Flag is a large-force aerial exercise held at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, which fosters readiness and interoperability through the incorporation of fourth and fifth-generation aircraft in combat training. The 21-2 iteration of the exercise was held May 10-21, 2021 (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

F-15 aerial refueling

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. The 21-2 iteration of the Checkered Flag exercise involved more than 115 aircraft and 2,000 personnel from nine Air Force and Navy units, training together in approximately 25 aerial events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

F-15 aerial refueling
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A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Checkered Flag is a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth and fifth-generation airframes to enhance mobility, deployment, and employment capabilities of aviators and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

F-22 aerial refueling
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A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor assigned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Held twice per fiscal year, the exercise directly supported the Air Combat Command commander’s plan to train the Immediate Response Force, a dedicated force ready for worldwide, rapid response to unforeseen or unplanned operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

F-22 aerial refueling
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A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor assigned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, flies over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Checkered Flag is a large-force aerial exercise held at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, which fosters readiness and interoperability through the incorporation of fourth and fifth-generation aircraft in combat training. The 21-2 iteration of the exercise was held May 10-21, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael Sage, 328th Aerial Refueling Squadron boom operator, provides fuel to a QF-16 assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, over the Gulf of Mexico during Checkered Flag 21-2, May 12, 2021. Held twice per fiscal year, the exercise directly supported the Air Combat Command commander’s plan to train the Immediate Response Force, a dedicated force ready for worldwide, rapid response to unforeseen or unplanned operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez)