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Air Force Plans to Solicit Commercial Refueling Tanker Services

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The U.S. Air Force is slated to conclude its feasibility study that will help the service assess its need for commercial aerial refueling services, Defense News reported Thursday.

Gen. Maryanne Miller, commander of the Air Mobility Command, told the publication in a prior interview that the Air Force seeks to establish requirements for a potential contract award on tanking services to support testing and training activities.

She noted that the command plans to achieve an initial operating capability certification with a few aircraft within a year.

“The interest is high on the commercial side,” said Miller. “The commercial companies who are considering this are really waiting to see the feasibility study, which will be completed in March.”

According to Miller, privately operated tankers will not fly for combat or other overseas missions and will be used for tasks within the continental U.S.