Defense

February 8, 2019
 

Tinker readies for KC-46 maintenance

McConnell’s first KC-46A Pegasus lands on the flightline Jan. 25, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. The KC-46 will serve alongside the KC-135 Stratotanker at McConnell and supply critical aerial refueling, airlift and aeromedical evacuations at a moment’s notice for America’s military and allies.

A ceremony introducing the first KC-46A Pegasus delivered to the Air Force was held Jan. 25, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.

With a primary function as an aerial refueling and airlift aircraft, the KC-46 will be maintained at the 158-acre maintenance campus being prepared at Tinker Air Force Base.

The strip of land on the south side of Tinker AFB was bought from Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway by the Air Force, Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County for $44 million.

As the designated hub of maintenance for the aircraft, construction is still underway on the 14-dock campus dedicated to it on the south side of base.

Civil Engineering Project Manager Mark Harbaugh said expansion of the taxiway and other infrastructure on the campus is 95 percent complete.

A single-bay hangar is 86 percent complete, with completion expected in May and a two-bay hangar is 57 percent complete, with a December completion date expected. The first aircraft is expected to arrive for maintenance in June 2020, he said.

“The current schedule will be way ahead of the KC-46 aircraft maintenance need date,” Harbaugh said.

Maintenance Activation Planning Team Lead Tony Marino, with the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex business office, said the delivery of the first aircraft has helped set a timeline for preparations.

“We’re working to make sure this aircraft is fully supportable, so we have developmental packages that we’re going through with the tech data to make sure we have all the parts, all the support equipment, going through our hiring plan,” Marino said.

“We have checked all our boxes to make sure we are fully trained to make sure we are ready to go for the first jet to get here.”




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