Pease resumes air mobility alert mission

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Timothy Hayden
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing

A KC-46 Pegasus and flight crew assigned to the 157th Air Refueling Wing, here, assisted in refueling multiple U.S. Air Force F-15s as they crossed the Atlantic Ocean, Oct. 4.

The sortie was the first in the wing’s new, long-term alert mission tasking from Air Mobility Command that went into effect, Oct. 1.  

One KC-46 and two crews of pilots, maintainers, and other support personnel from Pease will now support the Tanker Airlift Control Center alert mission. Pease previously supported this mission until it divested its legacy aircraft, the KC-135 Stratotanker.

“The tasking to stand up long term manpower to support TACC is the direct result of the tireless work of the entire Wing.” Said Col. Nelson Perron, 157th Operations Group commander.

The Tanker Airlift Control Center, formally known as the 618th Air Operations Center, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is AMC's execution arm for providing America's Global Reach. The TACC plans, schedules and directs a fleet of nearly 1,100 mobility aircraft in support of combat delivery and strategic airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation operations around the world.

When called upon by the TACC, Pease Airmen will utilize the KC-46 to perform a range of mission sets, including air refueling, air medical, troop transport and airlift operations.   

“It’s really a great benefit to the Wing,” said Maj. Matt Valentino, 157th Air Refueling Wing pilot.  “Not just for us to be able to fly different missions, but to get a lot of our people involved.”

When it comes to alert missions at Pease, the KC-46 is picking up where the KC-135 Stratotanker left off, performing a vital role the wing had fulfilled in its former airframe since September 11, 2001.

Improving upon the capabilities of its predecessor, the KC-46 will enable the Wing to carry out many of the same missions as before but with greater effectiveness.

“We can fly the aircraft to greater distances while carrying more cargo and being more fuel efficient.” Said Valentino.