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22 ARW Completes Single-Pilot KC-46 Sortie

Single Pilot, Single Boom Operator Procedures Assessed for Refueling Readiness in Exigencies

The 22nd Air Refueling Wing Completed a single-pilot KC-46A Pegasus flight to validate procedures for limited aircrew. 

The October 25th mission allowed the Wing to assess the changes and effects of a tanker flight without a co-pilot, whether taking place due to wartime exigencies or long-range operations with offset air crews. The reduced crew complement flight was completed within military test airspace, followed up by a full sortie with a full mission profile.

“In wartime, airfields are static targets, as are any aircraft on the airfield when an attack is inbound,” said Colonel Nate Vogel, 22nd ARW commander. “But once airborne, the aircraft is a mobile platform capable of maneuver and continuing to provide mission capability for the combatant commander.”

“This mission was practiced extensively in flight simulators,” said Vogel. “Each phase of evaluation has been carefully considered, taking into account crew safety, aircraft capabilities, and existing federal aviation standards. That allowed us to make a deliberate and thorough analysis of what risks and hurdles are present, how to mitigate those, and allowed us to recommend training requirements to familiarize crews with the basic functions and critical controls of unfamiliar crew positions.”

“I have been very clear with my team: victory will be delivered on the back of the mobility air forces, and doing so means taking a hard look at every tool we have at our disposal,” said Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of AMC. “The dynamics of the future operating environment require us to think in ways we might not usually think.”

FMI: www.af.mil


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