Japan AF acquaints with KC-46

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Representatives from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force met with members from the 22nd Maintenance Group July 11.

The JASDF airmen visited McConnell in order to see the commonalities between the KC-46 Pegasus and KC-767 J. The KC-767 is Japan’s current refueling airframe.

“Originally at the time of the programmed meeting in Japan, we were informed that there may be an issue when the aircraft [arrives],” said Maj. Daisuke Kawano, JASDF aircraft section maintenance and supply division logistics department officer. “There may not be enough equipment delivered on time of the delivery. We wanted to check the actual equipment to see if we could use equipment from the KC-767 that we are using right now, for preparation [of the KC-46].”

Japan will become the first nation, outside of the United States, to add the KC-46 to their air refueling capabilities. The addition of the KC-46 will help with joint military training and operations between Japan and the United States.

“The JASDF seems to be well equipped to receive the KC-46 because of their understanding of the Boeing 767 platform, which they already employ,” said Master Sgt. James Peak, 22nd MXG KC-46 transition office flight chief.

During the six-hour visit, the JASDF airmen observed the KC-46 facilities and approximately 300 pieces of equipment. The equipment was displayed in a neat and uniform manner so each part could be fully observed. Each section had a member from Team McConnell to explain the purpose and expected use of the KC-46 equipment and facilities. Demonstrations were also shown with different maintenance and safety equipment as well.

After observing the equipment and the KC-46 and KC-135 Stratotanker aerospace ground equipment comparisons in the hangars, they were able to tour McConnell’s air transportable galley lavatory, non-destructive inspection, fuels, corrosion and wash facilities.

A flight line authorization letter allowed the JASDF representatives to take photos during the tour. The photos were then reviewed by the operations security manager before they departed McConnell.

“[The visit] provided the Japanese answers to their equipment and facility concerns,” said Peak. “Also, demonstrating our Wing’s strategies helps prepare them to receive the new refueling platform. Doing so helps to increase their defensive capabilities while strengthening the U.S. Air Force’s relationship with the JASDF.”