U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has announced that it delivered its 34th KC-46 Pegasus multirole tanker to the U.S. Air Force, the first to be stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.
North Carolina U.S. Senator Thom Tillis wrote on Twitter that he is proud to see Seymour Johnson AFB receive its first Boeing KC-46 Tanker.
“With today’s delivery, the 916th Air Refueling Wing has opened its doors to the next generation of air refueling,” he said on Twitter.
The 916th Air Refueling wing was selected by the Air Force as the first Air Force Reserve Command to receive the KC-46 tanker. Seymour Johnson AFB also marks the fourth military base to stand up tanker operations.
“Seymour Johnson is a base with a strong history in aerial refueling,” said tanker vice president and program manager Jamie Burgess. “We know the Pegasus will be in good hands with the 916th Air Refueling Wing.”
Boeing field representatives have been working with wing leadership the past several months to prepare the base for delivery of the KC-46, standing up the warehouse, stocking shelves with spare parts, staging ground support equipment and training local airmen.
“There’s a lot we have to do to prepare a base for delivery of their first KC-46,” said Andy Garcia, KC-46 Services leader. “Our team has been moving a million miles per hour to ensure our customer will be ready to operate the airplane on day one.”
The KC-46A Pegasus is a widebody, multirole tanker that can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. Boeing designed the KC-46 to carry passengers, cargo and patients. The aircraft can detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats enabling it to operate safely in medium-threat environments.
Boeing began developing the KC-46A for the Air Force in 2011 and delivered the first tanker in January 2019. Boeing has now delivered 34 tankers — 21 to McConnell Air Force Base, seven to Pease Air National Guard Base, five to Altus Air Force Base and one to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.