McConnell AFB’s KC-46 Pegasus achieves 5,000th sortie milestone

July 2, 2021 (Last Updated July 2nd, 2021 11:25)

McConnell AFB airmen executed more than 2,500 missions during 2021.

McConnell AFB’s KC-46 Pegasus achieves 5,000th sortie milestone
USAF Airman 1st Class Reilly Avery, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, marshals out a KC-46A Pegasus for the 5000th Air Force KC-46 sortie at McConnell AFB in Kansas. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Willis.

The US Air Force’s (USAF) Air Mobility Command (AMC) McConnell Air Force Base (AFB) airmen have completed the 5,000th KC-46A Pegasus flight sortie.

McConnell was the first AFB to receive the KC-46 in January 2019.

Since then, the Pegasus has discharged over 21.8 million pounds of gas across more than 19.7K positive contacts.

Based on the KC-767 refuelling aircraft, the KC-46A is manufactured by Boeing under a contract with the USAF.

Air Mobility Command (AMC) commander general Jacqueline Van Ovost said: “KC-46 aircrew and maintainers have been getting after it, they’re testing, evaluating and becoming experts on the platform.

“Every single sortie along the way is a steppingstone on the right path toward a fully operational KC-46.”

Nearly 1,000 of the total 5,000 sorties have supported testing and joint force operational taskings at a global level.

AMC Strategic Plans KC-46 Requirements and Programs Cross Functional deputy director team lead brigadier general Ryan Samuelson said: “With the increasing daily capacity to meet Joint and service air refuelling demands, the KC-46 is rapidly employing capabilities, especially in boom and drogue air refuelling.”

According to AMC, the thousands of sorties are crucial to informing the conditions-based, limited operational use of the KC-46 aerial refuelling aircraft announced by AMC in February this year.

This approach eventually certifies mission sets to expand tanker capacity during joint force operational taskings.