LOW-LEVEL AND TACTICAL FORMATION
Tanker Orbit Rendezvous
This is the only rendezvous in which the receiver maneuvers his aircraft to affect the rendezvous
and join-up. The receiver is responsible for maintaining the required 1000 feet of vertical
separation from the tanker until visual contact is established. The tanker will maintain an orbit at
the refueling altitude, at a specified location and allow the receiver to maneuver for rendezvous.
Prior to join-up and at least 5 minutes prior to ARCT, the tanker slows to refueling airspeed and
establishes the refueling altitude. The receiver will approach the tanker position from 1000 feet
below the refueling altitude maneuvering to 1 mile in trail and will then climb to the observation
position when cleared by the tanker.
Figure 3-12 Tanker Orbit Rendezvous
Tanker Enroute (Overtaking) Rendezvous
The tanker aircraft approaches the receiver(s) with 1000 feet of altitude separation and
establishes radio contact well in advance to confirm exact position of the receiver formation.
The receiver formation will be at 170 KIAS. When in visual contact with the receiver(s), the
tanker pilot maneuvers to overfly the receiver(s) and communicates to the receiver formation the
refueling heading to be maintained. Once ahead of the receiver(s), the tanker will slow to 170
KIAS and clear the receiver(s) to the observation position.
TACTICAL/AERIAL REFUELING PROCEDURES