Taken on Sep. 3, 2020 the cool photos in this post show a KC-46 Pegasus from the 916th Air Refueling Wing in-air refueling F-15E Strike Eagles from the 336th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (AFB) over the sky of North Carolina.
The KC-46 is the Air Force’s newest multi-role aerial refueling tanker and strategic military transportation aircraft that can refuel all US, allied and coalition military aircraft making global reach a reality.
F-15E Strike Eagle from the 336th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson AFB were refueled by the KC-46, the first time the Pegasus in-air refueled the F-15E since arriving on base this year.
Air-to-air refueling is important to the Air Force’s warfighting ability as it increasing airpower lethality and range and sustains the Combat Air Force’s air superiority and capability to target enemy forces over long ranges.
“Air refueling is a no-fail mission,” said Air Mobility Command commander Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost during her first visit to Boeing Field, Tukwila, Washington, on Sep. 4, to meet with Boeing leaders, receive briefings, and participate in discussions on efforts to correct deficiencies on the KC-46A Pegasus. “It’s imperative we continue working closely with our partners at Boeing to field an operational KC-46 that will meet the Joint Warfighter’s needs. There are inevitable hurdles that come with fielding an aircraft as complex and capable as the KC-46, but those hurdles must be cleared as soon as possible. We must keep our eye on the prize and foot on the gas.”
As told in Air Mobility Command news release, during the visit, Van Ovost and defense leaders, including DoD Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Robert Behler, received updates from Boeing and Air Force leaders and experts on efforts to address deficiencies and areas of concern, including efforts to eliminate the discovery of foreign objects or FOD during aircraft delivery, repair of ongoing fuel leaks, and the redesign of critical aircraft systems such as the refueling boom and Remote Vision System or RVS, which allows boom operators to safely refuel receiver aircraft from a station in the front of the aircraft.
“I’m encouraged to see the progress Boeing’s engineers are making on RVS 2.0 since agreeing to a redesign of the entire system in early April,” said Van Ovost. “Working in tandem with experts from the Air Force Research Laboratory, we are now on the right path towards fielding an operationally viable tanker that represents the first step toward recapitalizing the Air Force’s aging tanker fleet.”
They also observed a hands-on demonstration of Boeing’s proposal for a potential interim Enhanced RVS or eRVS solution. AMC leaders are assessing the merit of implementing portions of the eRVS design, if doing so improves boom operator performance, mitigates airworthiness risks, or reduces operational restrictions currently in place for KC-46 refueling.
Photo credit: Kimberly Barrera
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