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The Air Force has selected a total of 41 officers and enlisted members from the Active Duty component, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve Command to constitute the aircrews for the initial operational test and evaluation phase of the KC-46A tanker, announced Air Force Personnel Center officials on Monday. "Test and evaluation aircrew will evaluate the tanker's capabilities under all circumstances and situations to ensure that it meets all operational mission requirements," said Maj. Broc Starrett who oversees Mobility Air Forces rated assignments for the center. "This is a significant milestone in the careers of the pilots and boom operators selected to test the new tanker," he said, because the airmen selected for these positions "must be the best in their field." The KC-46 is slated to enter the Air Force's inventory in 2016, pending the results of operational test and evaluation, states the release. KC-46s will replace the Air Force's oldest KC-135 tankers. (See also New Tanker Schedule and Countdown to Pegasus' First Flight.)