Shortage of aerial fuel tanker
During the Air War of Libya, one of the issues that were highlighted by the multi-state coalition was that the European partners lacked the number of aerial fuel tankers to support air offensive. The fact that aerial refueling has become an extremely important and an almost essential need during any military aerial campaign, a quick resolution was urgently needed to resolve this issue.
First Aerial aircraft to refuel an alliance
Take for example, in May 2011 the Boeing KC-767A, was the first aerial fuel tanker used to refuel an Italian aircraft in midair during the Coalition War with Libya. And thou the Boeing KC-767A had orders to refuel the Italian aircraft, there was a limitation, and they could only refuel the aircraft in midair using the central fuel hose because the pooling and sharing was still not certified at that time and moment.Italian Air Force KC-767 tanker with refueling probes extended
Italy initiated the aerial refueling certification
One of the countries to take the first step to resolving the shortage of the European midair refueling tanker was Italy, who organized a “collective” aerial refueling certification activity. The aerial refueling certification which was initiated by Italy to collectively increases the operational capacity of aerial refueling. This project was achieved with the help of the European Defense Agency (EDA) and the Movement Co-ordination Centre Europe (MCCE) and classified as ‘pooling and sharing’.
Building a collectively strong air defense system
So why would so many countries pool in their resources collectively? It was a rather unusual alliance, especially considering that most countries are tightening their defense budgets. First of all, sharing of assets leads to optimization of resources, making it quicker to respond when an adverse situation arises. Secondly, pooling and sharing collective resources is an appropriate move for any countries shrinking their defense budget. Only by helping each other, out can these countries build a collectively strong air defense system.
Thanks to the initiative taken by Italy to introduce the Collective Aerial Refueling Certification, the Boeing KC-767A has now taken a larger role to refuel coalition aircraft in midair. Since then, more receivers have been certified and equipped with both the three hose and drogue stations and the sixth generation flying boom.