McDonald Douglas KC-10 Extender
Assigned to the 319th Air Refuelling Wing at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, KC-135R 58-0120 is a 42 year old Stratotanker flown by the 906th Air Refuelling Squadron. Flying in support of Red Flag missions the crews of Air Mobility Command tankers provide an important, and often overlooked role.

      The KC-10A Extender is an advanced aerial tanker and cargo aircraft designed to provide increased global mobility for U.S. armed forces. Although the KC-l0's primary mission is aerial refueling, it can combine the tasks of a tanker and transport aircraft by refueling fighters and simultaneously carrying the fighter support personnel and equipment on overseas deployments.
      Based on the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Series 30CF Convertible Freighter, the KC-10A Extender emerged victorious in a contest with Boeing's Model 747 aerial tanker variant to satisfy the U.S. Air Force's Advanced Tanker Cargo Aircraft requirement. In December 1977, it was selected by the USAF based on integrated assessment of capability, price, life-cycle costs and technical features of the DC-10.  The KC-10's maiden flight took place on 12 July 1980. The first aerial refueling occurred during testing on 30 October 1980, with the receiver aircraft a C-5 Galaxy. The first KC-10 was delivered to the USAF on 17 March 1981. The 60th and last was formally handed over on 29 November 1988.
    In the mid-1990s, the major USAF reorganization that witnessed the elimination of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) resulted in the KC-10 Extender fleet being reassigned among units of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) and Air Combat Command (ACC), before all being controlled by AMC. All KC-10's, apart from a single aircraft that was destroyed in a fire on the ground in September 1987, are still in service. There are currently two operational KC-10 bases (both are located in the continental U.S.): McGuire AFB, New Jersey and Travis AFB, California.

See the display models of the KC-10 at