by SrA Maeson Elleman

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 909th Aircraft Maintenance Unit inspects a bolt on the wing of a KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling aircraft on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 12, 2013. For seemingly endless hours each day under the hot Okinawan sun, maintainers from the 909th Aircraft Maintenance Unit inspect, bolt, grease and polish an assortment of parts and pieces to ensure each and every mission goes off without a hitch. (U.S. Air Force picture story by Senior Airman Maeson L. Elleman/Released)

Photographer's Narrative


I must’ve driven this guy a little crazy because I followed him around the whole morning. It was a beautiful day on Okinawa, and these maintainers were spending every minute of it ensuring every inch of this KC-135 Stratotanker was ready for takeoff. It was pretty impressive watching them move to the tips of the wings on hands and knees inspecting the tightness of each screw of each panel. These maintainers are the reason these planes continue to fly.