Metrea is proud to have been part of a historic first by providing commercial air-to-air refueling to U.S. Air Force Boeing RC-135 large reconnaissance aircraft and Boeing E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft in support of exercise RESOLUTE HUNTER. While U.S. Navy and Marine Corps units regularly use commercial aerial refueling services for training and support, this marks the first time that U.S. Air Force aircraft have used commercial aerial refueling. From June 23 through June 29, Metrea Strategic Mobility (MSM) provided four aerial refueling support missions for RC-135 and E-3 aircraft in support of exercise RESOLUTE HUNTER.
The total included 13 boom contacts and nearly 90,000 pounds of fuel offloaded, providing both aerial refueling training for the RC-135 and E-3 crews, and enabling them to extend their participation in the RESOLUTE HUNTER exercise. An RC-135 Rivet Joint assigned to the 55th Wing from Offutt Air Force Base was the first to receive commercial air-to-air refueling, followed by an E-3 Sentry assigned to the 552nd Air Control Wing from Tinker Air Force Base. For Metrea Strategic Mobility this marks another historic milestone, after recently completing the first ever commercial boom refueling in April 2023 in support of a U.S. Navy P-8. Metrea Strategic Mobility has sent a KC-135R to participate in the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, UK, July 14-16.
“It was fitting that we could support the US Air Force in achieving this major milestone during the same week that we marked the 100th anniversary of aerial refueling. Our team worked closely with NAVAIR, Air Combat Command, and the receiver RC-135 and E-3 units to pull this off and deliver the training effect needed. We look forward to supporting more US Air Force refueling requirements as well as increasing demand from allies and partners,” said Jon “Ty” Thomas, Head of Metrea’s Air and Space Group.
Metrea Strategic Mobility is the only company to own and operate a fleet of KC-135R aircraft, offering an air-to-air refueling service that seamlessly, safely, and professionally integrates into military aviation training and operations. Metrea Strategic Mobility has a mission reliability rate of 93% since beginning execution of a NAVAIR contract in late 2021. The combined Metrea aviation units have flown over 130,000 accident-free flying hours, across multiple aircraft types, missions, and geographies in support of US, UK, and other allied and partner government national security objectives. MSM’s aircraft are equipped with two wing-mounted Multi-Point Refueling System (MPRS) pods which facilitate refueling with probe equipped Navy, Marine Corps and partner nation aircraft. Metrea Strategic Mobility is headquartered in Temecula, California; Metrea is headquartered in Washington, DC with facilities across the United States, the United Kingdom, and the EU.