Pease Airmen shaping the future of refueling

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Master Sgt. Steven Warren recently completed a rotation to Boeing near Seattle, as part of the U.S. Air Force's Tech Order Certification and Verification Team, for the KC-46 Pegasus.

Boeing is writing the technical orders for the new KC-46 weapon system. Warren, along with Master Sgts. Joel LaRose, and Jay Gorsline, are responsible for reviewing the information and then translating the information into military terms.

The three senior NCOs from the 157th Air Refueling Wing work in unison with Boeing and active duty Air Force.

"The knowledge we are getting is invaluable," said Warren, 157th Maintenance Group avionics technician. "By being out there, were playing a key role in the shaping the future of the KC-46."

Warren's first rotation to Boeing was in March 2015 which consisted of two weeks familiarization training (overview of jet, safety) followed by a six week rotation.

The Air Force Technical Order system provides clear and concise instructions for the safe and effective operation and maintenance of centrally-acquired and managed Air Force military systems and end items.

Each Air Force Specialty Code from maintenance is represented on the TOCV team. Warren, handles guidance and control and communication navigation while LaRose is a fuels specialist and Gorsline is a sheet metal specialist.

The team consists of approximately 50 people made from Altus AFB, Oklahoma; McChord AFB, Washington; McConnell AFB, Kansas; and Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire.

Warren signaled that changes are on the horizon.

"The aircraft is new," he said. "It's going to be a paradigm shift and a lot of the old ways of thinking will be out." 

Warren touted the benefits that crews can expect in the KC-46.

"There are a lot of new technologies on this aircraft, the sheer size of the aircraft, the mission, everything is different," he said. "It's going to be great and I'm really looking forward to the integration and capabilities of the aircraft."

Warren, a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, served three years on active duty working on the KC-10 Extenders at Travis AFB, California prior to transitioning the 157th Air Refueling Wing in 2007.

Air Force officials announced Aug. 6, 2014 that Pease would be the first Air National Guard-led KC-46A main operating base. Officials selected Pease because of its highly successful existing active-duty association, which would lead to lower active-duty manpower requirements. Its location in a region of high air refueling receiver demand was also a key consideration.

"The way that we do business is going to change," said Warren. "Maintenance is going to be more integrated but all the shops are going to be working a lot closer than they have before."