Detachment Stands Up to Support KC-46A Testing

Air Force Materiel Command officially stood up the 418th Flight Test Squadron, Det. 1 in Seattle to support developmental testing of the Boeing-built KC-46A tanker, announced command officials. The detachment’s first three members were on hand for the unit’s activation ceremony on July 11, according to a July 17 release. By next summer, the detachment, which is based out of King County International Airport, also known as Boeing Field, will have approximately 40 personnel in place in preparation for the tanker’s first flight, states the release. “We will have pilots, boom operators, flight test engineers, logisticians, and disciplined engineers—all working together with their Boeing counterparts,” said Lt. Col. James Quashnock, 418th FLTS, Det. 1 commander. KC-46 developmental testing is slated to conclude in 2016, states the release. The detachment’s parent unit, the 418th FTS, is based at Edwards AFB, Calif. The Air Force plans to acquire 179 KC-46s to replace its oldest KC-135 tankers. (Seattle report by Jet Fabara) (See also KC-46A Critical Design Review Nears Completion.)