The Next Air Force One Aircraft Will Not Be Able to Refuel in Midair - the Drive
USAF turning policy into pretzels to heed the President After Obama.
The cost-cutting is continuing and most notably has resulted in plans to strip the aerial refueling capability requirement, which is a feature on the existing VC-25As that presently perform the presidential airlift mission, from the new Air Force Ones. The Air Force downplayed the significance of this decision to Defense One, while the Muilenburg’s briefing pointed out that the standard 787-8i had the range to reach all by some parts of Asia from Washington, D.C.
Weisgerber’s sources added that it wasn’t a major problem since “the current aircraft have never made use of that capability.” But that claim appears to be false.
In 2014, a former U.S. Air Force boom operator told The War Zone’s Tyler Rogoway, then writing for Foxtrot Alpha, that he had topped up Air Force One on more than one occasion. One of these instances involved a nighttime link up with the tanker as President George W. Bush traveled to Baghdad, Iraq for a surprise visit in November 2003.