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Photo feature: Arizona tankers, NATO E-3s connect over Germany

A NATO E-3A Sentry receives fuel from an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Germany during a training mission, Nov. 16. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

A NATO E-3A Sentry receives fuel from an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Germany during a training mission, Nov. 16. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

A NATO E-3A Sentry takes off from NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany, Nov. 13 while an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker  prepares for launch. Both aircraft rendezvoused over northern Germany during a training mission to practice air refueling. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations here Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

A NATO E-3A Sentry takes off from NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany, Nov. 13 while an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker prepares for launch. Both aircraft rendezvoused over northern Germany during a training mission to practice air refueling. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations here Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Aircraft maintainers from the 161st Air Refueling Wing launch a KC-135 Stratotanker Nov. 13 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. Arizona Air National Guard members from Phoenix are supporting NATO E-3A Sentry aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Aircraft maintainers from the 161st Air Refueling Wing launch a KC-135 Stratotanker Nov. 13 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. Arizona Air National Guard members from Phoenix are supporting NATO E-3A Sentry aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Aircraft maintainers from the 161st Air Refueling Wing finish launching a KC-135 Stratotanker Nov. 13 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. Arizona Air National Guard members from Phoenix are supporting NATO E-3A Sentry aircrew training operations here Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Aircraft maintainers from the 161st Air Refueling Wing finish launching a KC-135 Stratotanker Nov. 13 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. Arizona Air National Guard members from Phoenix are supporting NATO E-3A Sentry aircrew training operations here Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

NATO E-3 Sentry instructor pilot, German Air Force Maj. Thomas Ratersmann (right), and Portuguese Air Force Capt. Fred Sousa, an E-3 student pilot, fly to a rendezvous with an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Germany Nov. 16. Airmen and tankers from the Phoenix-based 161st Air Refueling Wing are here supporting NATO aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

NATO E-3 Sentry instructor pilot, German Air Force Maj. Thomas Ratersmann (right), and Portuguese Air Force Capt. Fred Sousa, an E-3 student pilot, fly to a rendezvous with an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Germany Nov. 16. Airmen and tankers from the Phoenix-based 161st Air Refueling Wing are here supporting NATO aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Staff Sgt. Kevin Gimenez, an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator, searches for his receiver, a NATO E-3A Sentry, over northern Germany during a training mission Nov. 10. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Staff Sgt. Kevin Gimenez, an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator, searches for his receiver, a NATO E-3A Sentry, over northern Germany during a training mission Nov. 10. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Portuguese Air Force Capt. Fred Sousa, a NATO E-3 Sentry pilot, lines up with an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Germany Nov. 16. “Over Nose. Over feet. Over knees. Over head,” said Sousa as he called out the boom position while guiding it to the fuel receiver above his cockpit. Airmen and tankers from the Phoenix-based 161st Air Refueling Wing are here supporting NATO aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Portuguese Air Force Capt. Fred Sousa, a NATO E-3 Sentry pilot, lines up with an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Germany Nov. 16. “Over Nose. Over feet. Over knees. Over head,” said Sousa as he called out the boom position while guiding it to the fuel receiver above his cockpit. Airmen and tankers from the Phoenix-based 161st Air Refueling Wing are here supporting NATO aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Staff Sgt. Kevin Gimenez, an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator, prepares to refuel a NATO E-3A Sentry over northern Germany during a training mission Nov. 16. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Staff Sgt. Kevin Gimenez, an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator, prepares to refuel a NATO E-3A Sentry over northern Germany during a training mission Nov. 16. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

With intense focus, Staff Sgt. Kevin Gimenez, an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator, refuels a NATO E-3A Sentry over northern Germany during a training mission Nov. 16. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

With intense focus, Staff Sgt. Kevin Gimenez, an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator, refuels a NATO E-3A Sentry over northern Germany during a training mission Nov. 16. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

NATO E-3A Sentry takes on fuel from an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Germany during a training mission, Nov. 10. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)
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NATO E-3A Sentry takes on fuel from an Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Germany during a training mission, Nov. 10. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

Mission accomplished. An Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker finishes refueling a NATO E-3A Sentry over northern Germany during a training mission Nov. 16. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)
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Mission accomplished. An Arizona Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker finishes refueling a NATO E-3A Sentry over northern Germany during a training mission Nov. 16. Airmen from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix are supporting aircrew training operations Nov. 9-20 at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Gabe Johnson)

NATO AIR BASE GEILENKIRCHEN, Germany -- Photos worth 1,000 words are an efficient way to capture the delicate skill and dedicated teamwork required to transfer 40,000 pounds of fuel from one aircraft to another at 28,000 feet.

Arizona Air National Guard Airmen and KC-135 Stratotankers from Phoenix are flying with NATO E-3A Sentry aircraft and aircrews here Nov. 9-20 to practice air refueling operations.

More than 20 pilots, boom operators, maintainers, and support experts, along with two tankers from the Phoenix-based 161st Air Refueling Wing, are fulfilling their annual commitment to train with NATO's Airborne Warning and Control Systems - or AWACS.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.