Omega Aerial Refueling Services, Inc. (OARS) is the first and only commercial company in the world that provides air-to-air refueling service for military units. According to the company’s website, Omega developed the first commercial aerial refueling aircraft in 1999, and has provided aerial refueling services under contract to the United States Navy since 2001. The company has also been engaged to support Royal Australian Air Force training exercises due to delays to the delivery of the Air Force’s KC-30A tankers. In addition, Omega Air Refueling states that it has been contracted to support deployments by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The idea for Omega Aerial Refueling Services was born in the 1980s by aviation entrepreneurs Ulick and Desmond McEvaddy, owners of Omega Air. Having read U.S. Department of Defense studies on the potential of commercial air-to-air refueling and acknowledging the Department of the Navy’s budget request for a strategic air-to-air refueling capability during President Reagan’s administration, the brothers were fascinated with the challenge to provide commercial air-to-air refueling to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps on a pay by the hour basis. By 2000, the McEvaddys’ vision became a reality and began the first of Omega’s over 5,000 successful air-to-air refueling missions for militaries.
With worldwide logistics centers, Omega provides first-in-class commercial air-to-air refueling services to allied foreign nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East regions. The key steps are ensuring receiver aircraft are cleared to receive fuel from Omega tankers and setting up the FMS agreement/funding transfers. The dual-hose configuration of the KDC-10 allows for a margin of safety for long overwater flights. During one mission, six new Super Hornets were delivered from Lemoore, California to RAAF Base Amberly in Brisbane, Australia in just three legs. During another mission, Omega transported a squadron of RAAF F/A-18 Hornets from RAAF Tindal, Australia to Eielson AFB, Alaska.
Omega Aerial Refueling Services operates a fleet of KC-707 and KDC-10 aircraft owned by Omega Air. Omega Air took delivery of the first of two former Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) KDC-10 aircraft on November 4, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. All OARS tankers are currently configured for probe and drogue refueling with each tanker aircraft capable of flying over 1,200 hours per year. Any U.S. and foreign military unit capable of probe and drogue aerial refueling can request and use Omega. Omega Air Refueling support all major exercises, including nearly every COMPTUEX and JTFEX, cross-country drags, and squadron level training.