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Air Mobility Command takes initial steps to establish KC-46 Weapons Instructor Course

After heavy rains, a KC-46A Pegasus sits on the flightline July 9, 2020, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. The 22nd Air Refueling Wing is home to KC-46 and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, two of three tankers used to support aerial refueling operations in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia)

After heavy rains, a KC-46A Pegasus sits on the flightline July 9, 2020, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. The 22nd Air Refueling Wing is home to KC-46 and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, two of three tankers used to support aerial refueling operations in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia)

Scott Air Force Base, Ill. --

Air Mobility Command officials announced today the command has initiated the process to establish a KC-46 Pegasus Weapons Instructor Course, marking a significant development in operationalizing the KC-46 and developing tactics for its employment in combat.

AMC has partnered with the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and Air Combat Command to modify the current KC-135 Weapons Instructor Course syllabus to include the KC-46. KC-46 WIC undergraduates will integrate with their KC-135 counterparts at the 509th Weapons Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.

Within three to five years from the first combined KC-46/KC-135 class, the KC-46 course will begin its transition to a KC-46 main operating base to establish a permanent Weapons Squadron.

“The KC-46 represents a new era of air refueling. Once performing all operational missions, its enhanced capability will provide the Joint force an asymmetric advantage required for competing, deterring and winning in today’s complex security environment,” said Maj. Gen. Joel Jackson, Director of Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters Air Mobility Command. “Charting the course for establishing a KC-46 Weapons Instructor Course ensures we leverage the expertise and innovation of our best and brightest Airmen to deliver Rapid Global Mobility for the Joint warfighter.”

Upon graduation, Weapons Officers return to the field to prepare their units for combat and provide Air Force senior leaders with tactical expertise on integrated force packaging and how their particular platform best works with all others.

The KC-46A has defensive and communication features making it more survivable in a contested environment providing enhanced support to our partner combatant commands.

The U.S. Air Force Weapons School, based out of Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, teaches graduate-level instructor courses that provide the world's most advanced training in weapons and tactics employment through air, space and cyberspace domains. Students receive more than 400 hours of graduate-level academics and participate in demanding combat training missions.

“The Mobility Air Forces rely on Weapons Officers to develop the tactics, techniques, and procedures needed to optimize aircrew and aircraft combat effectiveness within contested, degraded and operationally-limited environments,” said Col. Rhett Boldenow, AMC Deputy Director of Operations. “Weapons School graduates are leaders and experts in the tactical employment, planning and execution of integrated air and space power. Only the top tier of operators are selected to attend the Air Force Weapons School.”

As part of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, the 509th WPS is one of 21 squadrons at nine locations across the U.S.

For more information on the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, view the school’s factsheet online at https://www.nellis.af.mil/About/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/284156/united-states-air-force-weapons-school/