The US Air Force's (USAF) Air Mobility Command, Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard have selected a team of airmen to take part in initial operations test and evaluation (IOTE) for KC-46 Pegasus, which will arrive at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas.
931st Air Refueling Wing's (ARW) KC-46 Program Integration Office reserve operations chief Major Christopher Markley said: "Since McConnell is the only base that has receptacle equipped KC-135 (Stratotankers), known as R/T or receiver / tanker, we are in the unique position to perform the training before crews depart for Boeing-led training in Miami and Seattle."
The 931st ARW is working alongside the 22nd ARW to build a training programme that will allow the crewmembers to take part in the IOTE, to become receiver pilots.
The IOTE crewmembers will be trained in receiver air refuelling as each KC-46 will be equipped to receive fuel in flight.
Markley further added: "Cooperation with the 22nd Operations Group training shop has allowed us to successfully train all of our required crewmembers without impacting mission effectiveness on the active-duty assets."
Developed by Boeing, KC-46 Pegasus has been designed to detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection, which will enable it to operate safely in medium-threat environments.
The widebody, multirole tanker can refuel all US allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures, Boeing said in a statement.
Image: A KC-135 Stratotanker receives fuel from another KC-135, above the ocean. Photo: courtesy of Air Mobility Command.