US Air Force pilots stationed in South Korea have sent letters to the Pentagon to protest the lack of aerial training ranges in South Korea, according to the Korea Times. US Forces Korea in August shut down the Koon-Ni Range, which was a short flying time from Osan Air Base, after more than 50 years in operation. USAF had been subject to complaints and lawsuits from villagers near the range for several years, before US and South Korean officials in 2003 decided to turn control over to Seoul by August 2005. In return, Seoul was to provide USAF access to another range. According to the Times, South Korean officials have met stiff resistance from residents in other likely areas.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.