From left to right, Daniel Goodman, senior airman, and Josh Myers and Antonio Rapp, both airmen 1st class, sit aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker flight form Fairchild Air Force Base to Kyrgyzstan, where they're deploying to Manas Transit Center and will help deice aircraft this winter.
As morning light breaks over the Atlantic Ocean, Airman 1st Class James White with 92nd Air Refueling Wing from Fairchild Air Force Base sleeps during his nine-hour flight to England in a KC-135R air refueling tanker. White was on his way to a four-month deployment in Kyrgyzstan.
After an overnight stay at RAF Mildenhall, England, co-pilot 1st Lt. Lincoln Olsen, left, and aircraft commander Capt. Chris Dieter prepare to land their KC-135R Stratotanker at Manas Transit Center, Kyrgyzstan, on Oct. 15, 2010.
Manas Transit Center, a strategic U.S. supply base in Kyrgyzstan, is located alongside the commercial airport serving the nation's capital city of Bishkek and shares the same runway. The air base is a primary supply and refueling hub supporting U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.
Dustin Harder, a mechanic with the 141st Washington Air National Guard Air Refueling Wing, cleans the fuel filters on a jet engine of a KC-135R Stratotanker on the flight line at the Manas Transit Center.
Senior Airman Daniel Goodman, who arrived from Fairchild Air Force Base the day before, gets familiar with the deicing equipment he will use during his four-month deployment at the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan on Oct. 16, 2010.
Col. Dwight Sones, commander of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing in Kyrgyzstan, has made community outreach a key focus of the U.S. air base. The base hosted an estimated 2,000 Kyrgyz visitors Oct. 18, 2010, for tours and demonstrations celebrating the more than 600 civilians from the Bishkek area who work at the Manas Transit Center.
In a village near the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan, men gather to chat wearing their traditional kolpaks (tall felt hats).
Staff Sgt. Albert Ybarra, with the 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron at the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan, tests the purity of the jet fuel used for tanker refueling and air transport missions in Afghanistan.
Manas Transit Center's bladder farm can hold nearly 4 million gallons of fuel, most of it aviation grade. Deliveries arrive from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, around the clock, keeping the 20 bladders filled, each of which can hold 200,000 gallons. It takes four to five tarmac fuel trucks to prepare a KC-135R Stratotanker for each refueling mission.
Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, unload gear at the Manas Transit Center in preparation for heading downrange into Afghanistan on Oct. 17, 2010.
Senior Airman Ryan O'Farrell, deployed from Fairchild Air Force Base to the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan, inspects a KC-135R Stratotanker in preparation for a sortie over Afghanistan.
Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, prepare to depart the Manas Transit Center downrange into Afghanistan on Oct. 17, 2010. About 1,200 coalition combat troops move through the base daily, either on their way to Afghanistan or home.