USAF Creating KC-46 Weapons Instructor Course

Air Mobility Command is partnering with Air Combat Command and the Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to create a KC-46 Pegasus Weapons Instructor Course, according to a July 24 AMC release.

The team is working to incorporate the KC-46 into the school’s existing KC-135 Weapons Instructor Course syllabus, the release said.

Undergraduate Pegasus and Stratotanker course students also will share a unit—Fairchild Air Force Base’s 509th Weapons Squadron.

The Pegasus-specific course will eventually move to a KC-46 main operating base, where a permanent weapons squadron will be set up, according to the release.

“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 D. Jackson, director of operations, strategic deterrence, and nuclear Integration at Headquarters Air Mobility Command, in the release. “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.”

But while graduates of the KC-46 Weapons Instructor Course will be equipped to train the next generation of Airmen in how to wield the tanker in combat, Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein told Senate lawmakers in March the Boeing-built tanker was a break-glass measure reserved for contingencies until a fix for the Remote Vision System is implemented, Air Force Magazine reported at the time. 

Persistent issues with the Pegasus’ Remote Vision System led the service to push back its full-rate production decision date until 2024, though Air Force acquisition boss Will Roper has expressed optimism that laboratory testing of RVS elements could speed the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation process.