HomeNewsArticle Display

AMC approves operational Centerline Drogue System as first KC-46A Interim Capability Release milestone

NH based KC-46A aircrew refuel a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet off the coast of Maryland, July 1, 2020. This marked the first time the aircrew utilized the KC-46A centerline drogue system to refuel an aircraft. (Photo by Lt. Zach Fisher, U.S. Navy)

New Hampshire-based KC-46A aircrew refuel a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet off the coast of Maryland, July 1, 2020. This marked the first time the aircrew utilized the KC-46A Centerline Drogue System to refuel an aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Zach Fisher)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) --

Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, commander of Air Mobility Command, approved the Centerline Drogue System mission set as the KC-46A Pegasus’ first Interim Capability Release to meet joint force air refueling requirements, July 9.

This decision provides more daily “taskable” operational capabilities to the joint team and increases capacity for tanker fleet requirements.

“The last six months of operational use and programmatic evaluation indicate conditions have been met for ICR declaration of the Centerline Drogue System mission set,” Van Ovost said. “This decision reflects a risk-informed, data-driven, constraint-analyzed approach to releasing KC-46A operational capabilities to the joint force.”

Van Ovost announced the ICR plan in February as the command looks for ways to meet the joint force’s extensive aerial refueling requirements while the Air Force continues tanker recapitalization and divestiture efforts.

“This has required AMC to explore a variety of options or ‘tanker levers’ to relieve stress on today’s force,” Van Ovost said at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in February. “Increasing KC-46A operational use is the single largest lever available to bring additional air refueling capacity to meet joint force requirements as the tanker fleet is recapitalized to meet the needs of our combatant commanders.”

While the KC-46A is a maturing weapons systems with some operational restrictions, it now has proven capabilities that can be employed operationally for probe and drogue air refueling. The Air Force continues to conduct boom air refueling with fighter, bomber and transport aircraft for training, exercise, demonstration and familiarization missions before formally operationalizing the capability. The ICR concept provides a data-driven approach to certify these capabilities incrementally as the program moves toward full operational capability.

“ICR codifies for operational use what we’re already executing daily as the KC-46A makes progress on its initial operational test and evaluation, or IOT&E, plan,” Van Ovost said. “This is about bringing increased, predictable and taskable tanker capacity to the joint team today.”

In February, Van Ovost clarified there is no timeline associated with the ICR plan, which instead focuses on establishing confidence measures that allow the AMC commander and other senior leaders to qualitatively and quantitatively assess achievements in ICR milestones. If confidence measures are not met, then ICR on a particular mission set will not be declared.

While AMC seeks to provide increased operational capability to a stressed tanker fleet, Category-I deficiencies still need to be resolved, including the upgraded Remote Vision System 2.0 and a redesign of the Boom Telescope Actuator. The KC-46A will not achieve FOC until those deficiencies are cleared.

Although FOC is still years away, substantial progress continues.

“We’ve been simultaneously seasoning our aircrew and maintainers while identifying and wringing out deficiencies in the growing Pegasus fleet,” Van Ovost said. “We are flying and operating today with the KC-46A mission sets despite restrictions, including cross-ocean aerial refueling fighter movements, aeromedical evacuation missions, and cargo and passenger movements. The KC-46 is on a positive rate of climb!”

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Thanks to the conservation upgrades, Keesler AFB expects an annual savings of 113,840 million British Thermal Units, a 15.8 p…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: .@Spangdahlem_AB was the first wing in @HQUSAFEAFAF capable of Agile Combat Employment. Being agile & persistent is a m…
Twitter
After catastrophic flooding in Germany & Belgium, @Spangdahlem_AB volunteers provide relief. “80% of people on Sp… https://t.co/6roLIRoFT0
Twitter
RT @Southcom: Supporting our partners in #Suriname: A @usairforce C-17 from @TeamCharleston delivered a field hospital to Suriname July 1…
Twitter
Congratulatons! 🎓 https://t.co/dzK8o0E9rK
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: On the latest edition of the Air Force Starts Here Podcast, we discuss the modernization of the @usairforce Career Developm…
Twitter
F-16s from the 555th Fighter Squadron fire munitions at the Graf Ignatievo Air Base range during Thracian Star 21 i… https://t.co/aYEY5PoEWD
Twitter
The #AirForce Civil Engineer Center, in partnership with the USAF Installation Contracting Center, has streamlined… https://t.co/8iFGwfrYHR
Twitter
A-10 Thunderbolt II's auxiliary power unit insulation is on the path of modernization as the Ogden Air Logistics Ce… https://t.co/3vWCDmV8Sf
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr made his first trip to Europe as CSAF, to visit European counterparts in France, and virtually at th… https://t.co/fnK8dTaHA4
Twitter
RT @AFResearchLab: Have you ever had that lightbulb 💡 moment where a new game changing idea pops into your head? Well the @usairforce, @S
Twitter
RT @SecDef: We train to win future conflicts. @NORADCommand and @USNorthernCmd are currently leading #GIDE3 with all 11 combatant commands…
Twitter
“Our human capital is our ultimate weapon.” - Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, @AFSpecOpsCmd deputy commander, remarked recentl… https://t.co/SijxHO8VVX
Twitter
.@Hanscom_AFB introduces newly designed female body armor. “It’s exciting to feel represented as a female, and it’… https://t.co/fniK9XlzDh
Twitter
ICYMI: @amccommander Gen Van Ovost approves the Centerline Drogue System as the KC-46A Pegasus’ first Interim Capab… https://t.co/ACrozwmm1e
Twitter
The 128th Air Refueling Wing with the Wisconsin @AirNatlGuard is supporting #TeamTyndall's F-22 Raptors @NASKeyWesthttps://t.co/uRlpW1Jmt3
Twitter
.@EielsonAirForce Airmen are conducting Agile Combat training, aimed at developing combat habit patterns for use in… https://t.co/8BoWN2gE2I
Twitter
RT @USNationalGuard: Airmen from the @109thAW hosted two @USAFReserve Airmen while they completed their hands-on training as aerial port sp…
Twitter
.@Creech_AFB's 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron completed successful testing of the MQ-9 Reapers' Automatic Takeo… https://t.co/BnckGjqO76
Twitter
RT @USAFRecruiting: Air Force Chief of Staff, @GenCQBrownJr, has a message for those considering a career in the @usairforce: Regardless…
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
1,353,946
Follow Us