The latest KC-46A to be delivered (serial 20-46081) arrived at Travis AFB, California, which has now become the sixth main operating base for the USAF’s growing Pegasus fleet. This aircraft grows the USAF’s operational Pegasus fleet to 70 airframes and is the first of a planned 27 KC-46As that will be assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing’s (AMW’s) 6th and 9th Air Refueling Squadrons (ARS). Responsibility for operating and maintaining the tankers will be shared with the Travis-based 349th AMW and its 70th and 79th ARS, which are components of Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC).
The ceremony that marked the KC-46A’s arrival at Travis also commemorated the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the California base, along with the 75th anniversary of the 60th AMW and 100 years of the air-to-air refuelling capability, which the wider USAF had earlier celebrated during Operation Centennial Contact. Boeing is under contract to deliver 15 KC-46As to the USAF this year but has only handed two examples over thus far. The Pegasus is replacing the Travis-based McDonnell Douglas KC-10A fleet, with the California base expected to say bid farewell to its last Extenders by September 2024.