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376AEW Commander Takes Final Flight in Manas Aboard 185th Tanker

  • Published
  • By MSgt Phil Wendzillo
  • 185ARW
On June 8, 2008 Col. T. Harrison Smith boarded a KC-135 for his final flight as Commander of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing. For the final flight as aircraft commander at Manas Air Base, he selected a KC-135R Stratotanker from Sioux City, IA.

Smith was commissioned on August 3, 1984. As a member of the Air Force, he has served in many capacities and has logged over 4500 hours. After completing Combat Crew training School at Altus Air Force Base in 2000, he assumed command of the 906th Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) in Grand Forks, ND.

After stints in Saudi Arabia (as an ARS commander), the Pentagon (policy and Operational Readiness), he served as Vice-Commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell AFB, KN. While at McConnell, he was promoted to Colonel. On June 17, 2007, he assumed command of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, Manas Air Base, Kyrgyz Republic, his current assignment.

Also on the flight were Col. Wayne Cooper (current Commander of the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron) and 185th pilot Keane Fillipi and Aerial Refueling Specialist Misty McNamara. Tech. Sgt. Brian Koenig was the crew chief that recovered him.

The planes of the 185th have always had superior maintenance on them. Smith remarked not only about the excellent quality of the KC-135, but the professionalism and excellence of the crew and the maintenance team.