Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fairchild Formally A Candidate for Tankers

Altus Air Force Base, Okla.; Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.; Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.; and McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., are candidate bases for the first active-duty led KC-46A main operating base (MOB).  

The Air Force announced today Altus Air Force Base, Okla., and McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., as candidate bases for the KC-46A formal training unit (FTU).  

Forbes Air Guard Station, Kan.; Joint-Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; Pease Air Guard Station, N.H.; Pittsburgh International Airport Air Guard Station, Pa.; and Rickenbacker Air Guard Station, Ohio, are candidate bases for the first Air National Guard led KC-46A MOB. 

The major commands will conduct detailed, on-the-ground site surveys of each candidate base.  They will assess each location against operational and training requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure, and manpower.  Additionally, they will develop cost estimates to bed down the KC-46A for each candidate base. 

Once the site surveys are completed, the results will be briefed to the secretary of the Air Force and chief of staff of the Air Force to select preferred and reasonable alternatives for the FTU and two operating locations.  The Air Force plans to announce KC-46A preferred and reasonable alternatives and begin the Environmental Impact Analysis Process (EIAP) in spring 2013. 

Gen. Mark Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff explained that the 179 planned KC-46A aircraft are just the first phase of a 3-phase effort to replace more than 400 KC-135 and 59 KC-10 aircraft.  The first phase of tanker recapitalization will complete deliveries in fiscal 2028.

The KC-46A will provide improved capability, including boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie, world-wide navigation and communication, airlift capability on the entire main deck floor, receiver air refueling, improved force protection and survivability, and multi-point air refueling capability. 

The FTU and active duty MOB will begin receiving aircraft in fiscal 2016.  The Air National Guard MOB will receive aircraft in fiscal 2018. 

For more information, please contact Ann Stefanek, Air Force Public Affairs at 703-695-0640 or

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