I was asked the other day which Air Force assignment was the most challenging. That’s easy. Standing up the KC-135 Weapons School division. It was the worst four years of my career… and I got fired from my position as second in command of the group.
Standing up the KC-135 Weapons School, now 20 years later called the 509th Weapons Squadron, was probably the most rewarding assignment of my career too. I knew HOW air refueling worked from flying the KC-135 for 15 years before arriving at Fairchild Air Force Base in November 1999. Leaving the Tanker Weapons School, I knew WHY air refueling worked. My best flying assignment to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Japan is a close second for being dropped in into such an incredible learning environment.
And we started the KC-135 Weapons School with nothing! Two of us showed up the same week of November… our phone sitting on a cardboard box between two folding chairs for a month until furniture arrived!