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Week 2: KC-46 familiarization

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Staff Sgt. Brannon Burch, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron KC-46A Pegasus aerospace maintenance craftsman, briefs 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department personnel during familiarization period Feb. 5, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. Burch showed firefighters several compartments and functionalities on the KC-46 to prepare the fire department in case of a fire. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

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Airmen assigned to the 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department walk inside a KC-46A Pegasus fuselage Feb. 5, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. McConnell’s fire department developed a pre-fire plan that describes a firefighter’s responsibility during a fire. It also contains a small diagram of the exits and entrances of the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

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A KC-46A Pegasus sits in Hangar 1126 Feb. 5, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The new airframe arrived on Jan. 25 (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

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Staff Sgt. Brannon Burch, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron KC-46A Pegasus aerospace maintenance craftsman, briefs 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department Airmen during familiarization Feb. 5, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. McConnell’s fire department were able to get hands-on experience with operating the main cargo door while viewing exit and entrance points. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

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Tech. Sgt. Raymond Gestring, 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, tests entrance procedures during familiarization with the KC-46A Pegasus Feb. 5, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. McConnell’s fire department developed a pre-fire plan during the familiarization period that will be shared with other installations receiving the KC-46 in the future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

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Greg Godfrey, 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron lead firefighter, climbs a ladder Feb. 6, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. McConnell’s fire department familiarized themselves with the inside and outside of the KC-46A Pegasus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- It’s been two weeks since McConnell received the first two KC-46A Pegasus’. Since then, the base received two additional KC-46’s and have been introducing different agencies across base to the new weapons system.

Along with McConnell’s maintenance and fire department, the 22nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron and the 22nd Security Forces Squadron have been able to step foot on the KC-46.

“[We’re] trying to get to know the aircraft and all the ins and outs of it that would benefit us in knowing tactics and reconnaissance of the aircraft,” said Staff Sgt. Kaylynn Hughes, 22nd SFS unit trainer.

During the familiarization period, McConnell’s defenders are preparing for any potential scenario that could occur on an aircraft. The current project is to create a lesson plan that deals with anti-hijacking procedures.

“If the aircraft is to become hijacked, whether it be on the ground or incoming, and has hostile suspects, we will be prepared to secure it,” said Hughes.

Just how McConnell’s fire department is distributing their plans for the new aircraft, the 22nd SFS will be doing the same.

“We will be sharing the lesson plans and lessons learned with our counterparts that will be receiving the KC-46,” said Hughes.

Security forces also went over egress procedures during their familiarization period, just like McConnell’s flight and operational medical technicians and flight surgeons.

“We have a big piece with in-flight emergencies or even mishaps,” said Tech. Sgt. Fred Parchman III, 22nd AMDS flight medicine clinic flight chief. “They wanted us to be involved with egress training, so that we know the layout and exits of the plane, and if anything went wrong and we needed to board, then we would already know the functionality of the plane.”

During the familiarization for the 22nd AMDS Airmen, they were introduced to medical support systems, such as a reserve oxygen tank, and also safety features that were on the new aircraft.

“It’s all about safety and taking care of the aircrew, so it’s very important that we know the layout of the aircraft and we’re familiar with it,” said Parchman.

Within the last two weeks McConnell has worked as a team to increase each units understanding of the KC-46. Team McConnell is using the familiarization period to help educate the Air Force’s future KC-46 installations by developing new techniques and integration plans.