New video highlights 'The Boom' at Selfridge

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
The KC-135 Stratotanker is the star of a new video recently released by the 127th Wing Public Affairs office. The 5-minute mini-documentary showcases the refueling capability of the KC-135, which is operated by the 171st Air Refueling Squadron, 127th Air Refueling Group, 127tth Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

'The Boom' focuses on the primary mission of the KC-135, to extend American airpower by providing air-to-air refueling capabilities to the U.S. Air Force. The Michigan Air National Guard currently operates eight KC-135s at Selfridge. The aircraft's boom is the part of the aircraft through which fuel passes from the KC-135 to the receiving aircraft.

The video features 171st ARS boom operator Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Liggins, the senior 'boomer' in the Michigan Air National Guard. Also featured is Col. Matthew Rathsack, a KC-135 pilot assigned to Michigan Air National Guard headquarters. In the video, the KC-135 is seen refueling A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to Selfridge and a variety of other U.S. Air Force aircraft.

"You're not going to win an air combat war without tankers," Liggins says in the video. "It is just paramount to winning that conflict. Nobody's going to do it without tanker gas."

The video was produced by 127th Wing videographer Technical Sgt. Rachel Barton, who has won several video production awards over the past several years from the National Guard Bureau.

"We fly two distinct types of aircraft at the 127th Wing," Barton said. "The goal of this video is to describe the mission of one of those aircraft, the KC-135."

Currently in the works is a companion feature story video, which will highlight the A-10 Thunderbolt II at Selfridge, as well as several of the Airmen who fly and maintain that aircraft.

'The Boom' can be viewed at the 127th Wing's YouTube channel.

Comprised of approximately 1,700 personnel and flying both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker, the 127th Wing supports Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which marks its 97th year of continuous military air operations in 2014.

127th Wing's YouTube channel:
Version for broadcasters/military editors desiring a high-definition "clean" version of 'The Boom' video:
127th Wing's official web page: