KC-46 First operational refueling
By Airman 1st Class Alexi Myrick, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 13, 2019
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. – A KC-46A Pegasus out of McConnell completed the airframe’s first operational refueling May 7, 2019. While in formation with a KC-10 Extender from Travis Air Force Base, the KC-46 offloaded 30,000 pounds of fuel to four F-16 Fighting Falcons on their way to an exercise at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
“It felt great to use all of our training, preparation and prior experience on legacy tankers to execute an operational mission with the KC-46,” said Tech. Sgt. Andy Keiser, 344th Air Refueling Squadron instructor boom operator. “We put a lot of preparation in to familiarization and this shows that the KC-46 is capable of operational refueling.”
The 344th Air Refueling Squadron, and their reserve partners the 924th ARS, have spent the last few months in a Familiarization Period in order to study and execute the basic capabilities of the aircraft in preparation for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation.
“Today’s mission continues to showcase the incredible familiarization training our Air-Refueling professionals are getting both with the KC-10 and F-16’s,” said Col. Josh Olson, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “We are getting very positive feedback from our receiver aircraft on the KC-46 and are excited as we move into the next phase of KC-46 operational test and evaluation.”