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15th Wing bids ‘Aloha’ to the 96 ARS’ last operations officer

Lt. Col. Reese Evers, 15th Operations Support Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, flies during a C-17 Globemaster III refueling mission over Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Feb. 14, 2018.  Evers retired as a command pilot with over 4,100 total flying hours in tactical airlift, airdrop, air assult, night vision, formation, aero-medical evacuation, VIP airlift, and strategic tanker operation and as one of the last members of the 96th Air Refueling Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman)

Lt. Col. Reese Evers, 15th Operations Support Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, flies during a C-17 Globemaster III refueling mission over Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Feb. 14, 2018. Evers retired as a command pilot with over 4,100 total flying hours in tactical airlift, airdrop, air assult, night vision, formation, aero-medical evacuation, VIP airlift, and strategic tanker operation and as one of the last members of the 96th Air Refueling Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

One of the last members of the 96th Air Refueling Squadron retired here, Feb. 15, 2018.

After 21 years of flying, Lt. Col. Reese Evers, 15th Operations Support Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, retired as the 15th Wing’s last KC-135 pilot and one of the last links to the 96 ARS.

“Throughout his career, Evers has truly lived up to the values we hold,” said Col. Cavan Craddock, 15th Wing vice commander. “In his career, Evers has served as an exuberant Airman, wingman, leader and warrior. Who, over the past 21 years, has never left an Airman behind, never faltered, and never failed.”  

Evers retired as a command pilot with over 4,100 total flying hours in tactical airlift, airdrop, air assault, night vision, formation, aero-medical evacuation, VIP airlift, and strategic tanker operation in the T-37 Tweet, T-1 Jayhawk, C-130 Hercules, and KC-135.  He also has flown over 1,000 combat and combat support hours.

“As I look back on my career all I can say is, thank you,” said Evers. “To the 96 ARS and the 15th Wing for helping to mold me into who I am right now. Raising my right hand was the best decision I have ever made.”  

The Screamin' Eagles of the 96 ARS trace their heritage to the Army Air Corps' 6th Reconnaissance Squadron at March Field, California. Originally constituted on November 20, 1940, the unit conducted anti-submarine patrols at the beginning of World War II.

On April 22, 1942, the unit was redesignated as the 39th Bombardment Squadron and conducted air offensive operations until the end of the war, operating from Hickam Field, Tarawa Atoll, the Philippines and Okinawa, Japan.

Since its inception, the 96th ARS flew multiple aircraft including PT-17, B-18, B-25, KC-97 and most recently the KC-135. The unit earned numerous awards including a Distinguished Unit Citation, five Outstanding Unit Awards, and a Meritorious Unit Award.

The 96th Air Refueling Squadron was reactivated on July 23, 2010, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, in response to an increased demand for in-flight air refueling support throughout the Pacific theater. The Screamin' Eagles were an active associate of the 203rd Air Refueling Squadron, a Hawaii Air National Guard unit, and together formed a Total Force Enterprise organization.

The 96 ARS officially deactivated Sept. 3, 2015, in a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

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