Haveblue hit the nail on the head regarding reasons why the USAF
use different refueling systems. The decision was made in the 1950s by the bomber generals of SAC
that the boom method would be the standard AF
method of AR
. The TAC (fighter pukes) generals and pilots all liked the probe and drogue method better because with wingpods you could have 2 fighters refuel at the same time. SAC
couldn't stand it because the offload times for probe and drogue was astronomical for a bomber that took on 100K at a time, and the amount of workload it took for a heavy bomber pilot to push a probe into a basket and stay in position would easily tire a pilot during the easiest part of the nuclear war mission (getting out of the CONUS).
A little piece of trivia, the reason why the PDI (pilot director lights) on the bottom of the tanker fuselage are in the order they're in (up/down on the left side, forward/aft on the right side) is because for a bomber pilot, the yoke is in the left hand and the throttles in the right hand and they figured it would be easier for a bomber pilot to get used to and assimilate the info from the PDIs if the lights were arranged this way.