McConnell, Pease Airmen prepare for KC-46 arrival

  • Published
  • By By Senior Airman Trevor Rhynes
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 157th Air Refueling Group and 64th Air Refueling Squadron toured McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, Oct. 17 - 20.

Airmen from Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire, got an overview of how Team McConnell is preparing for the arrival of the KC-46A Pegasus. The visit gave members of Pease an understanding of what it takes to welcome the aircraft, as the first ANG base selected to receive the tanker.

"We're a little further ahead in the planning process, so the members from Pease came to us seeking advice about welcoming in the KC-46," said Maj. Peter Merrill, 344th ARS KC-46 initial operation test and evaluation pilot. "They were able to see the changes we've made along the way to our plans and adjust their plans to prepare for their own aircraft."

The Airmen visited maintenance facilities, viewed KC-46 construction and participated in discussion groups to exchange best practices.

"It's good to see the thought that has gone into the KC-46 so far,” said Lt. Col. Josh Zaker, 64th ARS commander. “There's a lot of great expertise here with the Airmen thinking through the tough problems we're just starting to run into."

The tour gave subject matter experts the chance to exchange ideas, which solved problems both sides might have come across over the upcoming months.

"Pease has had their own set of issues, just like we've had some issues on our end," Merril said. "Some of those problems overlap and for those that do, the team from Pease brought another set of eyes to help create solutions for roadblocks we've faced."

Setting the foundation for solving during the upcoming months was exactly what Zaker said he hoped would come from his time at McConnell.

"It's been a great visit, I'm glad to have had the opportunity to meet and talk to my counterparts here," said Zaker. "I'm looking forward to continuing our partnership as both bases prepare to welcome on the KC-46."