Air Force Confirms McConnell As Home For New Tankers

Rendering of a KC-46A Tanker, courtesy U.S. Air Force
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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The Air Force has made a final decision to base the new KC-46A refueling tanker at McConnell Air Force Base.

Senator Pat Roberts and Congressman Mike Pompeo received official confirmation from the Air Force at 6:10 p.m. Tuesday. The KC-46A tanker fleet will begin arriving at McConnell in 2016, bringing more than 200 airmen to the base.

The decision is also expected impact the local economy in Wichita, Derby and surrounding communities. In a news release from the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer says "McConnell’s growth ensures job growth in the Wichita area for all those organizations and companies that provide support services and products to the Base. We value the $619.1 million economic impact McConnell has on our area."

Wayne Roberts, chair of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce Tanker Task Force and the Joint Military Affairs Committee, said that the public participation helped secure the new mission for the base.

The final final Omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress included $219 million in improvements to the base, including installation of weapon system trainers and construction of new hangars, parking spaces and fuel system.

A squadron operations and aircraft maintenance building will also be built.

Posted by Stephanie Schultz