MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
The 22nd Air Refueling Wing (ARW) hosted the second annual KC-46 Weapons Systems Council (WSC) Oct. 18-19, 2022.
The event was hosted by Col. Nate Vogel, 22nd ARW commander, and the KC-46 Weapons Systems Council Chair for Air Mobility Command. The theme of the council was Operational Relevance: Building Enterprise Breadth and Depth.
The WSC hosted members from across the Total Force, to include McConnell’s own 22nd ARW and 931st ARW, as well as members from Air Mobility Command headquarters, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 5, 97th Air Mobility Wing (Altus AFB), 305th AMW (McGuire AFB), 60th AMW (Travis AFB), 157th ARW (Pease ANGB) and 916th ARW (Seymour Johnson).
“The WSC brings together our KC-46 teammates from Active Duty, Guard and Reserve Wings to work together to increase the operational capabilities of the KC-46,” said Lt. Col. Adam Gray, 344th Air Refueling Squadron commander and event organizer. “The WSC’s goal is to synchronize the field, fostering cooperation and communication among KC-46 units to best allocate our resources to increase the KC-46’s warfighting capabilities.”
The key talking points of this year’s event included a multitude of topics, some of which included KC-46 training, recent Employment Capability Exercise takeaways, and the latest tactical developments in the aircraft.
These topics were briefed throughout the first day by the respective subject matter experts and followed by an open discussion style Q&A. The face-to-face interactions and open discussions gave members of the KC-46 community an opportunity to create new connections and bolster existing ones while allowing collaboration on topics that would prove difficult to discuss over virtual conferences or on an individual basis.
“The KC-46 has had huge wins over the past 15 months. We have gone from being an aircraft that couldn’t be tasked, to a platform that has executed three Employment Concept Exercises around the world and flown a 24.2 hour sortie” said Colonel Vogel.
Activities for the event weren’t limited to ground level, as the council hosted a four-ship, rainbow-crew training flight, utilizing aircrews from the 22nd ARW, 97th AMW, 305th AMW and 157th ARW, demonstrating current mission capabilities, a look into future implementations of the aircraft, and an opportunity to work alongside members from across the Total Force.
“This KC-46 Weapons Systems Council is about more than just updating and synchronizing, it’s also about our mindset and the culture of the KC-46 community,” said Vogel. “We’re all working to develop the culture we want the KC-46 community to have. That overall culture is both a warfighter culture and a culture of winning. We will move out, innovating and experimenting to close any gaps we have, while communicating along the way. That needs to be our mindset, because we have partners out there who are relying on us to deliver our capabilities to a certain place at a certain time, enabling the Joint Force to carry out its mission. People depend on us, and we will be there.”