US Air Force conducts test capabilities of KC46A Pegasus as aeromedical evacuation aircraft
According to information released by the U.S. Air Force on July 15, 2020, U.S. Air Force has conducted test capabilities of the KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft during its first aeromedical evacuation on July 10, 2020.
Over the course of six flights and 17 hours, the mission, which originated at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, transited five patients and two attendees to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia; Patrick AFB, Florida; and Travis AFB, California. The mission was evaluated by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center.
The KC-46 has undergone extensive testing this past year, led by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, to evaluate the KC-46’s capabilities to support aeromedical evacuation. After the resolution of key discrepancies, the successful completion of the first operational mission represents a significant milestone in the aircraft’s ability to demonstrate one of its three mission sets: aerial refueling, airlift and aeromedical evacuation.
An integral factor for the successful execution of the mission was the notable patient care provided by the aeromedical evacuation team. Aeromedical evacuation plays a significant role in the nation’s globality capabilities as it provides time sensitive and mission critical patient care during transport to their home installations for follow-on care.
The total force team, which comprised of two flight nurses and three medical technicians (all qualified on the KC-46), used a syllabus that included numerous patient scenarios and configurations to guide the execution of the training.
The aircraft’s interior environmental controls proved not only to be effective but ideal for patient care. For Hampton, who has been involved in the of evaluation of the KC-46 over the past three years, witnessing the aircraft reach this major milestone is a feat he holds close to his heart.
Key features, such as increased lighting visibility, electrical power and storage capacity, allowed the team to provide quality care in the air. Since its delivery in January of 2019, there has been major headway with the aircraft’s operational capacity.