KC-46A flies 36-hour, record-breaking long-range mission > Air Mobility Command > News

A KC-46A Pegasus from the 157th Air Refueling Squadron at Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire flew a 36-hour non-stop endurance mission 26,000 miles Nov. 16-17, the Air Mobility Command’s longest mission to date.

General Mike Minihan, AMC commander, has tirelessly pushed the command to find new ways to deploy current resources in anticipation of future combat.
“This expanded mission is another example of capable airmen taking command and moving out to expedite our deployment of the KC-46A,” Minihan said. “This Total Force mission boldly underscores the need to think differently, change the way we do business, and offer options to the Joint Force.”

The KC-46A Pegasus offers the Air Force strategic flexibility with its unique blend of tenacity and presence. Since each KC-46A can be self-refuelled in flight, each aircraft can remain in theaters of operations to provide sustained support to armed aircraft. During the mission, the aircraft refueled F-22 fighters in the Pacific and was refueled three times itself.

The crew utilized the KC-46A’s secure and unclassified networks and situational awareness systems, allowing for a wide range of future uses. The platform’s situational awareness capabilities allow it to be protected in competitive environments.

Lt. Col. Joshua Renfro, AMC’s new KC-46A cross-functional team leader, described the significance of the mission.

“Pease’s accomplishment of this mission is the third consecutive success that demonstrates the KC-46A’s persistence in the air and builds on previous 22-hour and 24-hour missions,” he said. “AMC is committed to a deliberate approach to expanding the KC-46A’s operational range and its global command and control capabilities.”

A Human Performance Monitor on board the flight collected quantitative data throughout the mission. This data, along with that collected during the other recent 20+ hour missions, will be used to inform decision-making for future norm-breaking employment opportunities.

In another unique twist, the information detailed in this press release was sent to AMC leadership via the aircraft’s in-flight communications links. After its record-breaking mission, the “Code 1” aircraft landed – ready to fly with no deviations.

Lt. Col. Brian Carloni, commander of the 157th Operations Group, spoke of another achievement of the deployment.

“This mission was a true example of Total Force Integration. The expertise of both our Guard and Active Duty Airmen in executing this mission has shown how crucial teamwork is in any wartime scenario,” he said.