Rendering of a KC-46A Tanker, courtesy U.S. Air Force
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita hs been selected as the home for the new KC-46A tankers.
In a news release issued by Congressman Mike Pompeo's office, the U.S. Air Force selected McConnell as the Main Operating Base for replacing KC-135R tankers with KC-46A's beginning in 2016.
Kansas was the only state to have both of its Air Force bases, in Wichita and Topeka, selected as finalists for the program. Forbes Field in Topeka is still under consideration for future installments of the new tankers.
Below are comments from Kansas' congressional delegation on the selection:
“I couldn’t be more proud that McConnell Air Force Base has been selected as the Main Operating Base for the new KC-46A tankers,” Sen. Moran said. “Our state and the City of Wichita have a long history of supporting air mobility and standing behind the air men and women who call McConnell home, and I’m pleased the U.S. Air Force agrees that McConnell is the option whose location, capacity and mission will best meet our country’s needs.”
“The Air Force’s refueling tankers have a long history in Kansas at both McConnell Air Force Base and Forbes Field, and it is great to learn that this esteemed history will continue with the KC-46A tanker mission,” Sen. Roberts said. “Kansas airmen and airwomen time and again have demonstrated their steadfast dedication and hard work in contributing to the security of the United States, and our state, with its immense aviation infrastructure, has a great support network of civilian staff, neighbors and friends that help each installation achieve excellence. We welcome this new mission to Kansas and look forward to helping protect this nation for years to come.”
“America’s Air Force has once again called upon Kansans and McConnell Air Force Base to serve the nation with the world’s finest equipment,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Mobility Air Forces Caucus, West Point graduate, and Army veteran. “We’re thrilled that McConnell AFB has been recognized as an indispensable part of America’s defenses and excited about the opportunities this creates for the rest of Kansas. I look forward seeing the new KC-46A tanker contribute to our national security, from right here in the heartland for decades to come.”
“Kansans play an essential role in supporting our nation’s defense programs, and I commend the U.S. Air Force for naming McConnell AFB as the Main Operating Base for the new KC-46A tankers. This is good news for our state, and McConnell's distinguished history and capabilities make it an excellent choice,” said Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS-02), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference. “Although I am disappointed Forbes Field in Topeka was not selected, I am proud the 190th Air Refueling Wing was recognized as a finalist for the tanker program. As the member of Congress representing Forbes Field, I will continue to work with them to ensure they remain a strong candidate for future basing decisions.”