HomeNewsArticle Display

418th FLTS completes ‘banner’ year, now begins KC-46A Phase III testing

A new KC-46A Pegasus connects with an F-15 Strike Eagle for an aerial refueling test over California in 2018. (Courtesy photo by John D. Parker/Boeing)

A new KC-46A Pegasus connects with an F-15 Strike Eagle for an aerial refueling test over California in 2018. (Courtesy photo by John D. Parker/Boeing)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- The 418th Flight Test Squadron and Global Reach Combined Test Force had a busy and successful 2018.

The squadron oversaw “revolutionary” flight control upgrades for C-17 Globemaster IIIs in landing and air refueling modes; the final parachute certification air drops of NASA's new Orion space capsule; air launch of ballistic missiles to bolster the Missile Defense Agency's defensive shield and worldwide testing of a new avionics suite for the C-5 Galaxy.

The 418th FLTS’s continued testing on the KC-46A Pegasus program informed the decision for the Air Force officially accepting the new generation tanker Jan. 10, marking a major milestone for the next generation tanker and allowing Airmen to begin operational testing and flight training.

“2018 was a banner year for the 418th (FLTS) and our busiest yet,” said Lt. Col. Paul Calhoun, 418th FLTS commander. “We are looking forward to transitioning to more local Phase III KC-46 testing this year as we continue to support worldwide test efforts for C-5 and MDA.”

As it turned out, 2018 ended on a rather serendipitous note for the Global Reach CTF.

“In a moment of perfect harmony, we discovered that, quite by accident, the 418th (FLTS) flew exactly 418 sorties in 2018 - a year that will go down in 418th history as one of our most prolific ever,” said Calhoun.

It was noted that KC-46 sorties are tracked separately and not part of the 418.

Now, the squadron will begin Phase III testing for the KC-46, which is a transition from Boeing-led testing out of Seattle to Air Force-led testing at Edwards Air Force Base.

“Phase III is a 15-month period where the Air Force will certify fleet aircraft to refuel or be refueled by the KC-46,” Calhoun said. “There is also a data collection effort for (simulation) certification during this time frame. This will support initial operational testing by providing the (operational testing) community with needed certified aerial refueling pairs.”

In the past couple of years, when the KC-46 came to Edwards AFB for a few months at a time, Phase II testing was led by Boeing. Calhoun said Phase III is the final phase of KC-46 developmental testing and the tanker will be a regular fixture here.

“Depending on the scope of the follow-on flight test program for continuing KC-46 upgrades after initial developmental testing, we may have a KC-46 at Edwards (AFB) from now on for years to come. There will be a second KC-46 arriving the week of Jan. 21 to further augment the Phase III testing effort,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun added that the KC-46 test team has overcome incredible schedule and technical challenges enabling the Air Force to accept delivery of the first KC-46 this month.

“Though the level of effort alone was laudable, I am most proud of that team for their rigorous analysis which enabled them to clearly articulate significant technical issues to our warfighter customer,” said Calhoun. “Due to their strenuous efforts, the Air Force and Boeing are on a path to correct all significant deficiencies and ensure the warfighter has the tools necessary to project American power for decades to come.”

The KC-46A Pegasus is intended to start replacing the Air Force's aging tanker fleet, which has been refueling aircraft for more than 50 years. With more refueling capacity and enhanced capabilities, improved efficiency and increased capabilities for cargo and aeromedical evacuation, the KC-46A will provide aerial refueling support to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft.

The KC-46 is one of 24 active test projects in the 418th FLTS, ensuring 2019 will be another banner year for the Global Reach CTF.

Engage

Twitter
Herculian birds in the sky 🦅 🦅 🦅 The 120th Airlift Wing tested their readiness w/a 6-ship formation of C-130 Her… https://t.co/UNqpKf1UkC
Twitter
“The #COVID19 crisis has dynamically changed our entire world." Dover AFB is the first @AirMobilityCmd base to con… https://t.co/Q2idnUCxoo
Twitter
Join Dr. Will Roper for an Ask Me Anything on Oct. 26 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. It will focus on Deep Tech & Moonshots: H… https://t.co/zXtgKlx455
Twitter
Dominate the EMS The Electromagnetic Spectrum exists in Air, Space, & Cyberspace. Whether you’re at home or in com… https://t.co/N9dhhB3D9n
Twitter
Supporting the Department of the Air Force Arctic Strategy. From development to ops in less than a year! These inn… https://t.co/kDXsw1hJ8P
Twitter
Taking care of people The Women’s Health Transition Training, which is offered virtually, provides information on… https://t.co/yL9UQ0V9rf
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: I believe that success takes a team, but failure you can do alone. Grateful for the chance to sit down and connect with a…
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: A new $33 million contract is increasing #COVID19 testing capabilities at 42 #military treatment facilities across the @usairf
Twitter
Accelerate change or lose. @GenCQBrownJr expressed his vision for fulfilling the Air Force's mission and protectin… https://t.co/t2iHEW5yAM
Twitter
RT @airforcerso: Every operation and campaign is only as strong as its supply chain. Tune into #AMO2020 today to watch teams compete in a w…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thank you to @MilFamiliesMag for talking with Sharene and me today. The wellbeing of our families is essential to the suc…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: While many people are sleeping, Maintainers are still hard at work... Our teammates Ellsworth AFB, shared a picture of…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: It’s the Airmen who aren’t in this photo that I want to talk about. They are out there right now turning wrenches, gene…
Twitter
RT @airforcerso: 13 teams are competing to help the @USAirForce with better performing, more cost-effective & reliable technology that prod…
Twitter
Keeping combat agile 💪 @USAF_ACC is testing agile combat employment & a new lead wing deployment concept intended… https://t.co/0F3nAwIZnx
Twitter
Strengthening international partnerships. #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/m5YeqA8i5G
Twitter
Modernizing our fighting force! #AimHigh #InnovativeAF https://t.co/pEQUJdqYFE
Twitter
#DYK The 563rd Rescue Group directs flying operations for the #USAF's only active duty rescue wing dedicated to Com… https://t.co/QYDiSZ50qe
Twitter
Another day at the office. Can't comPLANE. 😉 ⚡ #LoveThisJob #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/7Vjemy7gP7
Twitter
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Blinded by the light 😎🔆 @TeamFairchild is taking #innovation to another level by setting the standard for Project Tesse…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,296,340
Follow Us