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Col. Bruce Hesteltine, 931st Air Refueling Wing commander (left), Chief Master Sgt. Melissa Royster 22nd Air Refueling Wing command chief, and Col. Richard Tanner, 22nd ARW commander, salutes as the 9th KC-46A Pegasus arrives at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. August 9, 2019. This was the 9th KC-46 to arrive at McConnell AFB since the first arrival on January 25, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia)

Col. Bruce Hesteltine, 931st Air Refueling Wing commander (left), Chief Master Sgt. Melissa Royster 22nd Air Refueling Wing command chief, and Col. Richard Tanner, 22nd ARW commander, salutes as the 9th KC-46A Pegasus arrives at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. August 9, 2019. This was the 9th KC-46 to arrive at McConnell AFB since the first arrival on January 25, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia)

Master Sgt. Jeremy Pratt, 344th Air Refueling Squadron chief boom operator presents the keys of the aircraft to Maj. Gen. James Jacobson, Headquarters Air Force director of training and deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements, August 9, 2019, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The installation continues to assist the integration of the next generation air mobility platform. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia)

Master Sgt. Jeremy Pratt, 344th Air Refueling Squadron chief boom operator presents the keys of the aircraft to Maj. Gen. James Jacobson, Headquarters Air Force director of training and deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements, August 9, 2019, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The installation continues to assist the integration of the next generation air mobility platform. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia)

Maj. Gen. James Jacobson, Headquarters Air Force director of training and deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements, departs the 9th KC-46A Pegasus delivered August 9, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. McConnell has now received nine out of 36 KC-46’s that will be delivered to the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia)

Maj. Gen. James Jacobson, Headquarters Air Force director of training and deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements, departs the 9th KC-46A Pegasus delivered August 9, 2019, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. McConnell has now received nine out of 36 KC-46’s that will be delivered to the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --

Col. Bruce Hesteltine, 931st Air Refueling Wing commander (left), Chief Master Sgt. Melissa Royster 22nd Air Refueling Wing command chief, and Col. Richard Tanner, 22nd ARW commander, salutes as the 9th KC-46A Pegasus arrives at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. August 9, 2019. This was the 9th KC-46 to arrive at McConnell AFB since the first arrival on January 25, 2019.  The KC-46A is the first phase in recapitalizing the U.S. Air Force's aging tanker fleet.

The aircraft will provide aerial refueling to Air Force, joint and partner nation aircraft. McConnell is expected to receive 18 tankers in the first round of deliveries and will end up with a fleet of 36.  The KC-46 will eventually replace the U.S. Air Force's aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers which have been the backbone of the refueling fleet for more than 50 years. The KC-46 will provide more refueling capability, an increased capacity for cargo, and modern aeromedical evacuation capabilities. The KC-46 is expected to provide aerial refueling to Air Force, joint and partner nation aircraft.