California and the Balkans
The California Air National Guard in Kosovo
163rd Air Refueling Wing

Nearly 100 Air National Guard members have volunteered for and deployed to the European theater in support of NATO's Operation Allied Force. Led by the 163rd Air Refueling Wing's Commander, Col. "Putt" Richards, the 100 volunteers departed March Air Reserve Base April 27, 28 and 29, 1999 to the European theater of operations. Although the 163rd "Grizzlies" were not ordered into action by the President's Selected Reserve Call-up, the wing supplied three KC-135R "Stratotankers", associated aircrew and support personnel to the Kosovo military operation.
Colonel Richards served as the Operations Group Commander for the 60th Air Expeditionary Wing located at Rhein-Main Germany. The wing's mission was to perform refueling missions in support of Operation Allied Force.
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Updated 8 February 2016