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​Gen. Darren McDew learns how to operate a Boom Operator Simulator System at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. on July 22 during his visit to the base to meet with mobility airmen. McDew, who will soon take command of US Transportation Command, is concerned about the progress and future funding for the KC-46 Pegasus tanker program. Air National Guard photo by A1C Julia Pyun. 

​USAF already has plans built around Boeing's KC-46 tanker program delivering 18 aircraft by 2017, and if there are significant delays in fielding the Pegasus, this would have cascading effects, said Gen. Darren W. McDew, then-commander of Air Mobility Command, in an interview with Air Force Magazine (McDew passed command of AMC to Gen. Carlton Everhart in an Aug. 11 ceremony). For example, he noted that many airmen's assignments will be affected when KC-46s enter the inventory to replace old KC-135s. There are "real people at the end of that," he said. Similarly, military construction work, test activities, and training regimes are all set up with the expectation that KC-46s will be available at the predicted times in the predicted quantities. McDew called the KC-46 "vital" to AMC and clearly the No. 1 modernization priority for the command. He said he is "a bit concerned" about Boeing's progress along the KC-46 schedule, but his bigger concern is what would happen if sequestration were to return. Officials have called stable and predictable funding essential to the health of the KC-46 program. McDew has been confirmed to succeed Gen. Paul Selva as the next chief of US Transportation Comman​d.