It's been more ten months since a Fairchild KC-135 air crew crashed during a refueling mission in Kyrgyzstan and Thursday morning the U.S. Air Force will finally explain what caused the tanker to break up in mid-air.
Right now the United States couldn't fight a war or even get to most battlefields without KC-135 tankers so when one of them crashes finding out why is a matter of national security.
Captains Mark Voss and Tori Pinckney and Tech Sergeant Tre Mackey were killed May 3, 2013 just 10 minutes into their aerial refueling mission. Their aircraft, dubbed Shell 77, had just taken off from the Transit Center at Manas, an airstrip halfway around the world that was Fairchild's home away from home.
From Manas, Spokane-based air crews refueled warplanes supporting coalition forces on the ground in nearby Afghanistan.
"And each and every day they are saving lives because they are passing fuel to receivers, fighter aircraft, bomber, reconnaissance aircraft that are engaging bad folks on the ground and taking care of business," Colonel Dwight Sones, the former commander of the Transit Center at Manas said during a 2010 interview.