Shaheen Participates in KC-46 Discussion at Joint Base Andrews with Senior Air Force Leadership, Takes Part in Air Refueling Mission Staffed by NHANG Aircrew

February 26, 2021

2.23.21 U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., discuss processes and capabilities of the KC-46

2.23.21 Shaheen with General Brown and members of the 157th

Left picture: Shaheen and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., discuss processes and capabilities of the KC-46. Right picture: Shaheen with General Brown and members of the 157th Air Refueling Wing. More images can be viewed here.

(Joint Base Andrews) – This week, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined senior Air Force leadership at Joint Base Andrews for a briefing on the KC-46 refueling tanker program. Following the discussion, Shaheen participated in a KC-46 air refueling mission on a tanker and with a crew from the 157th Air Refueling Wing out of Pease. Shaheen spoke with General Charles Brown, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Jaqueline Van Ovost, Commander of Air Mobility Command and Brigadier General Ryan Samuelson of Air Mobility Command. In addition to discussing the future of the KC-46, Shaheen highlighted the importance of the Pease Air National Guard Base – the first operating base in the nation to receive its full complement of KC-46 tankers – to America’s national security and the New Hampshire Air National Guard 157th Air Refueling Wing’s remarkable work over the years providing crucial logistical support to military operations around the world.

“The KC-46 is the most advanced aerial refueling tanker in the world and is crucial to the success of future American air operations,” said Shaheen. “I was thrilled to witness some of the extraordinary men and women from the 157th Air Refueling Wing in action, from the pilots to boom operators, who demonstrated the impressive precision and expertise that ensures U.S. missions are carried out safely and efficiently. I also appreciated the opportunity to discuss crucial priorities for the KC-46 program as well as New Hampshire’s important role in support of our national security with General Brown, Brigadier General Van Ovost and senior Air Force Leadership. As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I’ll keep working to strengthen our national defense and put Granite State priorities front and center.”

The KC-46 is the United States Air Force’s next-generation aerial refueling tanker. It replaces the branch’s 1950s-era aerial refueling fleet of KC-135s and will serve as the backbone of American air operations for decades to come. As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Shaheen has fought to procure KC-46 refueling tankers through annual defense legislation. Thanks to strong advocacy by Senator Shaheen and the New Hampshire National Guard, Pease was selected as the Air Force’s first Air National Guard KC-46 main operating base, an economic benefit to Pease and the surrounding community. The last KC-135 departed Pease in March 2019 to make way for the KC-46. Shaheen participated in the arrival event for the first KC-46 to Pease in August that same year. Earlier this year, Shaheen attended the ceremony for the delivery of the 12th and final KC-46 refueling tanker to be stationed at the Pease.