Defense

July 19, 2013

418th FLTS stands up detachment in support of KC-46

The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force’s aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the United States Air Force.

In light of Boeing’s recent announcement they have begun assembly of the first KC-46 wing spar for the Air Force tanker program, Air Force Materiel Command officially stood-up the 418th Flight Test Squadron, Detachment 1, during an activation ceremony July 11 in Seattle, Wash.

“The detachment was established by AFMC Manpower, Personnel and Services [A1] to provide a permanent, non-TDY, presence for the 412th Test Wing as the responsible test organization for developmental test on the KC-46,” said Lt. Col. James Quashnock, 418th FLTS, Det. 1 commander. “For more than a year now, the personnel specialists at Edwards have been working with Headquarters AFMC to establish the detachment and then move personnel positions to the manning document. The first three members of the detachment arrived about three weeks ago and one of our first tasks was this activation ceremony.”

The detachment is part of the 418th FLTS and will report through the 412th TW to the Air Force Test Center, but will be based out of King County International Airport, which is commonly known as “Boeing Field,” according to Quashnock.

“When Boeing won the bid for the KC-46, the contract allowed them the flexibility to choose their test site. Boeing elected to test the aircraft out of Boeing Field where they conduct most of their commercial aircraft testing,” Quashnock said.

“Since the KC-46 is a derivative of the 767 design and will leverage much of the airworthiness testing from the commercial aspect of the 767, it was a logical location for Boeing.”

The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force’s aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the United States Air Force

Although the detachment currently has three people at the location right now, Quashnock said by next summer the detachment is projected to increase to approximately 40 people in preparation for first flight in Seattle.

Lt. Col. Charles Cain (left), 418th Flight Test Squadron commander, passes the 418th FLTS, Detachment 1 guideon to Lt. Col. James Quashnock, charging him with command during a ceremony in Seattle, Wash., July 11, 2013. The 418th FLTS, Det. 1 will be the responsible test organization for developmental test on the KC-46.

“We will have pilots, boom operators, flight test engineers, logisticians and disciplined engineers; all working together with their Boeing counterparts just like any integrated test force at Edwards. Many of the personnel are coming from Edwards and are already working on the program from their current positions and locations,” Quashnock said. “In addition to those 40 assigned to Det. 1, we will have a significant number of people working on the program from Edwards and from the test integrated product team at the program office in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.”

Additionally, the ITF will have the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Defense Contract Management Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration working together daily at Boeing Field.

“We have an aggressive test schedule, which has us wrapping up developmental test and transitioning to dedicated operational test in the summer of 2016,” said Quashnock. “The test program will actually stretch over the whole country, but testing will primarily be accomplished out of Washington and some short duration testing will also be done at Edwards, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Detailed test plans are still being worked, but those three additional locations are very likely.”

According to Quashnock, the current fleet of more than 400 KC-135s is about more than 50 years old and this program will replace about half of those tankers with 179 KC-46s and add significantly to their capability. Added capabilities include: night vision compatibility, self-defense, and tactical datalink.

“Almost as important as the new capabilities, is the fact that the KC-46 will do all the legacy tanker missions with increased safety, more efficiency, and with far more reliability” added Quashnock.

“I’m very excited. The KC-46 is the Air Force’s number one acquisition priority and to be the person chosen to lead the government’s on-site test effort is a tremendous honor. We have been fortunate to have plenty of volunteers who want to get in on the ground floor of the program, so we’ve been able to recruit some of the very best people.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Yemen chaos threatens U.S. counterterror efforts, including drone programĀ - The White House’s strategy for fighting al-Qaeda in Yemen – repeatedly presented as a model by President Obama – was left in tatters Thursday by the resignation of the man who personally approved U.S. drone strikes in the country and the collapse of its central...
 
 

News Briefs January 23, 2015

NATO detects key Russian military equipment in east Ukraine NATO’s top commander in Europe says the alliance has detected the presence of key Russian military equipment in eastern Ukraine that, in the past, has accompanied large inflows of Russian troops. Gen. Philip Breedlove told a news conference Jan. 22 in Brussels that Russian electronic warfare...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft ready for demonstration flights

Boeing photograph The Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft program is ready for customer demonstration flights, having completed the baseline ground and flight testing of the aircraft mission systems. The Boeing Maritime Surve...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Jacqueline Cowan

F135 test demonstrates success of AEDC workshare initiative

Air Force photograph by Jacqueline Cowan Aerospace Testing Alliance Test Engineer Darren Carroll, pictured in front, assists as Pratt & Whitney Test Engineer Ronnie Thomas does a borescope inspection of the fan on the F135 ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald

40 years of Red Flag at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald A flight of F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons Aggressors fly in formation over the Nevada Test and Training Ranges June 5, 2008. The proposal for Red Flag came in early...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Navy gears up to order production of 29 aircraft diagnostic systems

Lockheed Martin photograph Petty Officers Third Class Ira Schwartz assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Southeast at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., left, and Devin Riley from Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic at Naval Ai...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>