The Thunderbirds are the air demonstration squadron of the U.S. Air Force. The squadron tours the United States and much of the world, performing aerobatic formation and solo flying in specially-marked F-16 aircraft. They couldn't do their mission without hundreds of support personnel and dozens of organizations to keep them airborne. Air refueling is one of those necessary support functions. The image illustrated here is a KC-135R refueling the thirsty show-planes on the way to their next event.