OXON HILL, Md. (AFNS) —
Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of Air Mobility Command, accepted the KC-46A Pegasus for worldwide deployments to fulfill combatant command taskings efficient Sept. 14.
“We’re prepared to make use of this plane globally in any struggle, with out hesitation,” Minihan mentioned.
The KC-46A not too long ago accomplished an employment idea train within the U.S. Central Command space of operations, throughout which it was evaluated whereas filling real-world taskings in assist of fight operations, supplementing different tanker plane in theater.
Throughout the train, the KC-46A refueled its first operationally-tasked mission in a fight zone when it refueled two F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 335th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. As a part of that very same mission, the plane carried out the primary profitable fight use of the Navy Information Community, an onboard communications system that enables the KC-46 to function a safe interface between the on-ground Air Operations Heart and airborne plane working in its neighborhood, thereby offering elevated battlespace situational consciousness.
Brig. Gen. Ryan Samuelson, AMC’s KC-46A Cross Practical Workforce lead, described the importance of fielding the plane on a world scale.
“The KC-46 now formally joins the remainder of the Air Power’s refueling fleet in assembly combatant command necessities around the globe,” Samuelson mentioned. “However the KC-46A is a recreation changer in its skill to transmit and trade knowledge between networks, arming warfighters with real-time battlefield consciousness – extending the joint power’s attain, flexibility, and endurance capabilities.”
Throughout the train, the KC-46A accomplished 206 flight hours offloading 1.46 million kilos of gasoline to 66 plane.
The choice additionally marked the closing of the ultimate Interim Functionality Launch, a 15-month course of that ensured the KC-46A can refuel all relevant plane to fulfill the wants of combatant commanders.
“We’ve got quickly operationalized this plane to assist the joint power,” Minihan mentioned. “We’re taking a tough have a look at our total toolkit to verify we extract most worth to be prepared for a high-end struggle.”