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US Air Force training squadron receives first two KC-46As

12 February 2019
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A USAF training squadron received its first two KC-46A aerial refuelling tankers. The delivery gives maintainers and other crews the opportunity for hands-on experience with the aircraft. Source: IHS Markit/Pat Host

Key Points

  • A USAF training squadron received its first two KC-46As
  • This enables the service to start a 60-day familiarisation period and gives trainers hands-on experience with the aircraft

Boeing on 10 February delivered its second KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling tanker to the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) 56th Air Refueling Squadron at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, according to a company spokesman.

The 56th Air Refueling Squadron is responsible for KC-46A aircrew, maintenance, and support training. USAF spokesperson Second Lieutenant Abigail Pongracz said on 11 February that Altus AFB is beginning a 60-day familiarisation period where maintenance, aircrew flight equipment, police, fire department, airfield operations, and other crews will be able to get hands-on experience with the aircraft. Three additional KC-46As will be delivered to Altus AFB in the coming weeks, according to a Boeing statement.

The 97th Air Mobility Wing, since being selected as the USAF’s KC-46A formal training unit in April 2014, has been preparing to receive the aircraft. This was to include construction of a new formal training centre and hangar extensions, along with standing up the first KC-46A squadron.

However, Lt Pongracz said Altus AFB modified previously established infrastructure, such as existing hangars, from flying training units such as the Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy and Lockheed C-141 Starlifter. She added that new military construction included simulators, classrooms, and fuselage trainers. The 56th Air Refueling Squadron is part of the 97th Air Mobility Wing.

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