The Air Force has a wide variety of aircraft and aviation equipment. Most of them have a method of refueling in flight, and the specialist that deals with operations of in flight refueling is called the Air Force refueling specialist. Another name for this Air Force Specialty is Air Force Boom Operator. This is a solid air force career! It is the person who is tasked to hook up the flying tanker with the aircraft being refueled. This equipment is in the form of a long metal arm, with different sections, called the ?boom?. This is the specific reason that the job position has become nicknamed ?boomer, or boom operator.?
This is a job position with a lot of flexibility; the person that serves in this position can be anyone from Airman Basic to a Chief master sergeant. The Air Force title for a KC-135 boom operator is only used for paperwork. The boomer is responsible for extending the long joined extendable metal boom that connects the KC-135 refueling tanker with the different types of aircraft. All boom operators are also cross-trained as aircraft loadmasters. As a KC-135 crewmember and boom operator, you will also be required to perform duties sometimes at other bases around the world. As a boomer, you will train and fly in missions that average four and a half hours long. In learning to become a loadmaster you will be responsible for the cargo that is carried in the tanker, and to make sure it is always tied down and secured for flight. You are tasked with the aircraft, and if your KC-135 tanker is suddenly needed at a different location, then off you go, sometimes literally with a few moments notice. You will also receive training in navigation to assist the navigation officer if maintaining and determining the geographical location of the aircraft at all times. You will have alert status periodically, that means you will be on the alert on the ground, and restricted from leaving the base. Most of the time you will serve at your home base, and have fairly routine duty.
If you are called away, to travel to a different location, it normally is for a short duration, rarely is this type of duty more than 60 days away from your home base. Service as a refueling specialist, or ?boomer? is a very specialized duty position, boomers are aviation crewmembers that undergo intense training to become experts at in flight refueling operations, under a variety of weather and flight conditions.