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Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today introduced legislation to train Israeli pilots to operate KC-46 refueling aircraft before Israel receives its KC-46s from the United States in 2025. This early training will expedite Israel’s fielding of the KC-46 and will help credibly deter Iran.  The bill would also guarantee a small U.S. KC-46 presence in Israel until Israel’s KC-46s reach full combat capability.

“America needs to provide our Israeli allies with the military capabilities they need to protect themselves from an increasingly dangerous Iran. Training these pilots now will send a message to Tehran and will ensure that Israel is able to use these planes the day they receive them,” said Senator Cotton.

Bill text may be found here.

The Expediting Israeli Aerial Refueling Act of 2023 would:

·      Direct the Air Force to train Israeli pilots in the operation and maintenance of the KC-46 at U.S. bases and to make slots available for Israeli pilots to participate in a training exchange program.

·      Require the Department of Defense to provide a report on the requirements for the forward deployment of U.S. KC-46s in Israel and to require at least one U.S. KC-46 to be forward-deployed in Israel until the arrival of Israel’s KC-46 aircraft in 2025.

Author: Press Release


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