LINCOLN, Neb. –
LINCOLN, Neb. – A KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the Nebraska National Guard’s 155th Air Refueling Wing and three F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Dakota National Guard’s 114th Fighter Wing flew over Memorial Stadium for a University of Nebraska outdoor volleyball game.
The flyover celebrated Volleyball Day in Nebraska, where 92,003 fans became the largest crowd in the world to witness a women’s sporting event Aug 30.
Col. Kathryn Millwood, the KC-135 pilot in command for the flyover, said she was amazed by the turnout.
“Husker nation is always strong, so I knew we could fill the stadium, which could make a volleyball attendance record,” she said. “I had no idea that this would make an attendance record for a women’s sporting event!”
When first tapped for the flyover opportunity, Millwood said her goal was to have an all-female crew on the KC-135, but with only one other female pilot in the unit — a traditional Airman who was unavailable due to her civilian airline schedule – they did the best they could, leveraging two female boom operators, herself and one other male pilot. In addition, Milwood was able to get two female maintainers to assist with the launching and landing of the aircraft.
“Three females out of a four-person crew is not normal,” she said.
While the 155th Air Refueling Wing has participated in several flyovers of Memorial Stadium for football games, this was Milwood’s first Huskers flyover — making the moment even more special for her.
“We don’t do many dissimilar formation (with KC-135s and F-16s) flybys, which also made it different and memorable for those flying it and those watching it,” she added. “The flyby, coming at the end of the National Anthem, is a small reminder to all of this great nation and what it takes to remain that way. Whether watching the flyby or flying it, I couldn’t be prouder of what we — our unit, the Air National Guard, the U.S. Air Force, the entire military — do every day to make this country great.”
After the flyover, Millwood and the rest of the KC-135 and F-16 crews traveled back to Memorial Stadium to watch the remainder of the volleyball game between the Huskers and the Mavericks from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. During a break between sets, the Airmen stepped onto the court to wave to the record-breaking crowd.
“The atmosphere was electric,” Millwood said. “I have been to many football games in that stadium, but this was different. They announced the final attendance number when we were in the stadium and I just felt like we had been part of something so great.”