KC-135 Tankers Return To McConnell

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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UPDATE: Monday, April 16, 2012

Moving tankers out of mother nature's way saved millions of dollars, McConnell officials said.

Lt. Col. Jeff Goggin said leaders decided to transfer 16 KC-135 Stratotankers to other bases prior to Saturday's tornado outbreak. Ten other planes were placed in hangars at McConnell. Goggin said the fleet is irreplaceable.

"We had real good notification, and that's the most important thing," Goggin said.

Goggin said damage to the base was minimal. A few trees were toppled and fences were blown over.

UPDATE: Monday, April 16, 2012

Twenty-four refueling tankers that took refuge at an Air Force base in North Dakota during weekend storms in Nebraska and Kansas have returned to their home bases.

The Grand Forks Herald reports that 16 of the tankers flew in to Grand Forks Air Force Base from McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita, Kan., and eight more came from Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb.

The Grand Forks base was home to tankers for half a century until losing the mission during the 2005 round of military base closings and realignments.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A tornado tore through an airfield at McConnell Airforce Base Saturday, damaging fences, buildings and trees.

Officials said the 184th Intelligence Wing, Kansas Air National Guard, sustained some damage. There were no reported injuries to service members, their families or aircraft.

McConnell relocated 16 KC-135 Stratotankers to Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. earlier in the day, due to increased severe weather alerts. The relocated Stratotankers recovery is under way.

Currently the 22nd Air Refueling Wing is helping to assess damages and to provide additional support.

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