U.S. Air Mobility Command Commander Gen. Mike Minihan approved a fourth interim capability release mission for the KC-46A Pegasus on December 6, 2021.
This ICR decision allows the KC-46A to refuel the AC-130J Ghostrider, HC-130J Combat King II, MC-130J Commando II, C-5M Super Galaxy and E-3G Sentry during US Transportation Command missions.
“The KC-46A can now support nearly 70% of all receiving aircraft that request USTRANSCOM air-refueling assistance,” said Lt. Col. Kevin White, deputy head of the aviation requirements division. and AMC Logistics and Deputy Head of the KC-46A Cross-Functional Team. . âAdditionally, we are putting the Pegasus against our highest priority missions such as direct presidential support. “
The ICR KC-46A plane allows the Pegasus to perform operational tasks that would otherwise be performed by the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender, increasing the force’s in-flight refueling capability and further seasoning the Pegasus crews of the total force with operational missions.
On July 9, the ICR’s first decision approved the KC-46A Pegasus for refueling planes using its Centerline Drug System. The ICR’s second decision, which approved the KC-46A to refuel the B-52H Stratofortress, C-17 Globemaster III and other KC-46 aircraft using its boom, was made on August 5. Approved on October 15, the third decision allowed the KC-46A to refuel all variants of the F-15 Eagle and the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
There is no timeline associated with the overall ICR plan, which instead focuses on establishing progressive confidence-building measures that allow the AMC commander and other senior leaders to qualitatively assess and quantitatively the achievements of the ICR milestones. Crews will continue to conduct training, exercise and demonstration missions until all operational confidence measures are met.
Despite existing restrictions and shortcomings, the KC-46A continues to demonstrate its increasing operational capabilities. The Pegasus has flown over 6,000 missions, unloaded over 37.8 million pounds of fuel, and made 28,000 arrow hits and 1,900 drug hits since January 2019.
On November 9, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ, welcomed its first two KC-46As, bringing the total number of KC-46As in Air Force inventory to 50. The KC-46A currently operates out of McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC, Pease Air National Guard Base, NH, and Altus AFB, Okla.