The United States Air Force (USAF) 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Wing conducts an aerial refuel with a French Dassault Rafale multirole fighter aircraft from the French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) over Southwest Asia. The 908th is a McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender tanker squadron assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and enables coalition partners to execute their mission further developing relationships throughout the region.
The McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender is an aerial refueling tanker aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). A military version of the three-engined DC-10 airliner, the KC-10 was developed from the Advanced Tanker Cargo Aircraft Program. It incorporates military-specific equipment for its primary roles of transport and aerial refueling. It was developed to supplement the KC-135 Stratotanker following experiences in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The KC-10 was the second McDonnell Douglas transport aircraft to be selected by the Air Force following the C-9. A total of 60 KC-10s were produced for the USAF.
The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing is a provisional unit of the United States Air Force Air Combat Command (ACC). It is attached to the United States Air Forces Central Command component of ACC and is stationed at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. About 1,200 active duty military members, Reserve, and Air National Guard personnel make up the Wing. Aircraft assigned: McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extenders, Lockheed U-2 Dragon Ladies, Boeing E-3 Sentry (AWACS) and Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk. Its mission is aerial refueling and reconnaissance. Active for over 40 years, the 380th Bombardment Wing was a component organization of Strategic Air Command’s deterrent force during the Cold War, as a strategic bombardment wing.
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. Introduced in 2001, the Rafale is being produced for both the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations in the French Navy. The Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries, and was selected for purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Qatar Air Force. The Rafale has been used in combat over Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.