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a. The standard aerial refueling anchor pattern consists of a left-hand race track orbit with legs at least 50 NM in length.  The legs will normally be separated by at least
20 NM.  The orientation of the pattern is determined based on the inbound course to the anchor point.  Four turn points are designated to describe the anchor pattern. (See FIG 10-3-1.)

1. An anchor pattern may be designed with legs greater than or less than
50 NM in length provided all parties agree that the length is sufficient for the proposed operation and that the refueling operation can safely be conducted within the confines of assigned anchor area.
2. If other than the standard anchor pattern is used, the ATC facility must develop appropriate nonradar procedures.

b. The standard anchor area consists of one or more entry points, an ARIP, anchor point, anchor pattern turn points, one or more exit points, and the designated refueling altitude block(s).

c. Instructions for preparing and submitting anchor proposals are contained in
Section 4 of this chapter.


Anchor refueling shall be in accordance with the published pattern unless otherwise coordinated with the ARTCC/CERAP, or through a letter of agreement with the controlling agency.  Navigation shall be accomplished predicated on one of the following:

Clearance into an anchor area/track does not give aircraft on the track the ATCAA that may be associated with the anchor area/anchor track.  Aircrews should specifically request the ATCAA if they need the ATCAA for refueling operations.

a. NAVAID's while within usable range.

b. Airborne equipment utilizing geographical coordinates in remote areas without NAVAID reference.

c. Radar service provided by a military radar unit either ground-based or airborne.

d. Airborne radar as a secondary operation within the anchor area.


The anchor ARIP shall be established:

a. Normally, a minimum of 70 NM from the anchor point and within 30 degrees either side of the extended anchor point leg at the uptrack end of the anchor pattern.

b. So as to provide for straight-line navigation from the ARIP to the anchor point leg at the uptrack end of the anchor pattern.

Receiver entry at ARIP is not required when random rendezvous procedures have been coordinated prior to track/anchor entry and approved by the tanker commander.  All maneuvers required to effect rendezvous must be contained within designated airspace.


Anchors predicated on degree-distance definition shall provide:

a. A means of navigation from the anchor ARIP to the anchor point via a usable NAVAID radial/ distance.

b. A means of navigation from the exit point of the anchor area to proceed IFR
en route via a usable NAVAID.

c. Anchor areas located in over water or remote areas or beyond the range of fixed NAVAID's shall be predicated on geographical coordinate route definition with suitable navigation means provided by the user command.

FIG 10-3-1



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