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This undated photo provided by European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) shows an aerial refueling tanker aircraft, that EADS North America has offered to the U.S. Air Force as the KC-45, as it refuels an F-16 fighter aircraft via a refueling boom system. (AP Photo/EADS North America)
"I am proud that the National Guard is able to play a part in curbing the atrocious violence against Libyan civilians by their own government,” said Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, in a statement.
The unit based out of Scott Air Force Base in southwest Illinois specializes in refueling aircraft in mid-air and will join the mission to establish a no-fly zone over Libya.
The 126th Air Refueling Wing and its 906th air Refueling Squadron fly the KC-135-R Stratotanker, which is the military version of the Boeing 707.
The aircraft is able to offload nearly 200,000 pounds of fuel to another aircraft while traveling at more than 500 miles per hour in mid-air, according to the Illinois National Guard.