Two tails top up tanker inventory
By Ashley Snipes, 916th Air Refueling Wing
/ Published September 17, 2020
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. --
The 916th Air Refueling Wing received two new KC-46A Pegasus aircraft on Sept. 11, 2020 as the Air Force Reserve unit continues its transition to the newest aerial refueling tanker.
Maj. Gen. Jay D. Jensen, Director of Plans, Programs and Requirements, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and Brig. Gen. Jeffery T. Pennington, Commander, Fourth Air Force, AFRC, March Air Reserve Base, California, served as delivery officials of the force multiplier aircraft.
"The delivery of the KC-46A is a prime example of how we are reforming our Air Force Reserve to meet the future fight through transitioning to the next generation of Air Power," commented Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Chief of the Air Force Reserve and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command.
“Building a fleet of aircraft capable of delivering global reach and global power is a hugely tall order,” Pennington said. “The criticality in providing a weapons system that’s capable of doing more things is absolutely vital … That was designed into the [KC-46] platform.”
The Pegasus was built as a multi-purpose aircraft, able to accommodate cargo and personnel transport, as well as aeromedical transportation capabilities. These components represent a new era in aerial refueling, recapitalizing the aging tanker fleet comprised of KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender aircraft.
Personnel assigned under all aircrew and maintenance billets benefited from receiving instruction provided by McConnell AFB, Kansas, and Altus AFB, Oklahoma. They have also been able to meet and learn from their counterparts at Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire., overcoming challenges and building effective teams across the Air Force Reserve.
“I think the most important part with increasing our inventory and moving forward is to train a robust aircrew and maintenance force,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Miller, KC-46 pilot and Assistant Director of Operations, 77th Air Refueling Squadron. “Sticking to fundamentals and following our checklists is vital for training in the new airframe.”
The 916th ARW will receive eight more aircraft between now and 2021.