Feb. 28—WASHINGTON — Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11) launched bipartisan, bicameral laws to coach Israeli pilots to function KC-46 refueling plane earlier than Israel receives its KC-46s from the USA in 2025.
This early coaching will expedite Israel’s fielding of the KC-46 and can assist credibly deter Iran. The invoice ensures a small U.S. KC-46 presence in Israel till Israel’s KC-46s attain full fight functionality. The measure has help from MACH 1 Caucus Members Representatives Mike Garcia (CA-27), Rob Wittman (VA-01), and Jake Ellzey (TX-06), in addition to Consultant David Trone (MD-06).
It’s also endorsed by FDD Motion and the Jewish Institute for Nationwide Safety of America (JINSA). Companion laws has been launched within the Senate by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas).
Pfluger mentioned within the press launch: “As a former fighter pilot, I can personally attest to the intensive coaching that’s required for pilots — particularly on the subject of advanced plane just like the KC-46. Israel is our strongest ally within the Center East, and Israeli pilots should not have to attend till 2025 to start their coaching. I am proud to affix Senator Cotton in introducing bipartisan, bicameral laws that ensures Israel can use these planes to discourage Iran and different aggressors as quickly as attainable.”
Cotton mentioned within the press launch: “America wants to supply our Israeli allies with the army capabilities they should shield themselves from an more and more harmful Iran. Coaching these pilots now will ship a message to Tehran and can be sure that Israel is ready to use these planes the day they obtain them.”
JINSA President and CEO Michael Makovsky, Ph.D. mentioned within the press launch: “Dashing supply of KC-46 aerial refueling tankers to Israel—and coaching Israeli pilots—is essential to enhancing Israel’s means to defend itself by itself towards the Iranian menace. Solely such a reputable army menace towards Iran can deter its aggression and nuclear breakout, each of which advance U.S. nationwide safety pursuits. JINSA applauds the MACH 1 Caucus for his or her management.”
FDD Motion mentioned within the press launch: “In latest months, we’ve witnessed a harmful and worrisome growth of the Russia-Iran army axis that threatens US nationwide safety pursuits and that of our allies. That is one motive the introduction of the ‘Expediting Israeli Aerial Refueling Act of 2023’ is so well timed. To discourage and defeat a possible dash by Iran to a nuclear weapons functionality, Israel must modernize its ageing aerial refueling fleet. The laws would expediate the coaching of Israeli pilots, crews, and upkeep personnel to function the KC-46 aerial refueling plane. Israel has already bought these planes, however they won’t be obtainable for supply till late 2025 and 2026. This laws would enable Israeli personnel to coach with U.S. service members to function the plane moderately than ready till 2025. This laws deserves the help of Members of Congress on either side of the aisle who’ve acknowledged the menace posed by Iran, a menace that has solely been compounded by its army lying and rising ties with Russia.”
The Expediting Israeli Aerial Refueling Act of 2023 would:
>> Direct the Air Drive to coach Israeli pilots within the operation and upkeep of the KC-46 at U.S. bases and to make slots obtainable for Israeli pilots to take part in a coaching change program.
>> Require the Division of Protection to supply a report on the necessities for the ahead deployment of U.S. KC-46s in Israel and to require no less than one U.S. KC-46 to be forward-deployed in Israel till the arrival of Israel’s KC-46 plane in 2025.