On account of it being a global presence, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) needs this kind of refueling more often than anyone else. And this is why pilots constantly train for this kind of mission, and from time to time we're treated to snapshots of how they go, photos usually taken by the crew of the tankers, and showing just how intimate the two types of aircraft come to be.
One fine example of such an occurrence is the pic we have here, snapped at the beginning of May and published by the Air Force this month. The image was taken from inside a KC-135 Stratotanker flying over Florida during exercise Sentry Savannah.
According to the USAF, this exercise “is the Air National Guard’s premier counter air exercise, encompassing 10 units of fourth and fifth-generation fighter aircraft testing the capabilities of warfighters in a simulated near-peer environment and training the next generation of fighter pilots for tomorrow’s fight.”
The pic shows a very impressive instance of a fully geared-up pilot, sitting in the cockpit of an F-22 Raptor, and looking up at the one taking the photo, probably thousands of feet up in the air. All while probably smiling under that black visor...