Fairchild’s Airmen support KC-46A, B-52 training

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from Fairchild’s 384th Air Refueling Squadron supported a KC-46A Pegasus during a training mission with a B-52 Stratofortress in the Northwest region of the United States Oct. 3, 2018.

The purpose of the training was to test the new refueler’s capability to perform inflight refueling connections, specifically with the B-52 airframe.

“It’s a unique refueling aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Travis Christiensen, 384th ARS KC-135 Stratotanker pilot. “Having a part in bringing the KC-46A a step closer in becoming operationally ready is great.”

The KC-46A’s refueling capabilities, in comparison to the KC-10 Extender and the KC-135, makes the aircraft well-suited to perform a wider variety of refueling missions, extending the Air Force’s mission of Global Reach even further, said Christiensen.

The KC-46A is the first part of a three-phase effort in updating the Air Force's tanker fleet, offering a significant increase in cargo and aeromedical evacuation capabilities in addition to aerial refueling.

“Having a platform integrated with updated technology is a step forward,” said Capt. Joey Springfield, 384th ARS KC-135 pilot. “Moving on from having to retrofit older tankers that are limited in their technological capabilities helps to progress the fleet for future missions.”

Equipped with a modernized KC-10 refueling boom and multi-point refueling systems on the wings, the KC-46A is capable of refueling all types of U.S. military receiver aircraft, and receiver aircraft from military partners on the same mission.