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Fairchild selected as candidate to fly KC-46A

Posted 1/15/2013   Updated 1/15/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


1/15/2013 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Air Force officials announced Jan. 9 that Fairchild Air Force Base is a final candidate to be the first active duty-led main operating base for the new KC-46A air refueling tanker.

Other candidate bases include Altus AFB, Okla.; McConnell AFB, Kan., and Grand Forks AFB, N.D.

The Air Force will next conduct detailed site surveys at each candidate base with a primary and alternate location selection announcement projected for spring 2013.

The Air Force is projected to receive 179 KC-46A aircraft between 2016 and 2028. By 2028, the Air Force expects to base KC-46As at one formal training unit and up to 10 main operating bases.

"Our KC-135s are critical to fueling the fight and fueling freedom, now and for the foreseeable future" said 92nd Air Refueling Wing Commander Col. Brian Newberry. "However, the KC-46A offers a variety of advantages over the venerable tankers we fly today. This airframe is an important step in recapitalizing the tanker fleet."

Committees visited several Air Force installations over the last few years with a variety of criteria to select bases to receive the first tankers.

"If indeed Fairchild is chosen to fly the KC-46A, we will do so with the same level of partnership with the Washington Air National Guard's 141st Air Refueling Wing and dedication our Airmen continuously provide," Newberry said.

A new tanker has been the number one acquisition priority for the Air Force for several years. The KC-46A will be built by the Boeing Company, headquartered in Washington State.



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