National Guard Bureau Gets Public Comment On Housing KC-46As At Forbes


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - It was a sparse turnout Thursday night for a comment session on whether people had any concerns about new air refueling tankers being housed at Topeka's Forbes Field.

The National Guard Bureau hosted the event at the Museum of the Kansas National Guard.

While Pease Air Guard Base in New Jersey was chosen for the new KC-46A mission, Forbes was among the five finalists. The Guard is preparing environmental impact statements for all the locations, so that, if a problem turns up with Pease, they can move quickly with a backup location.

Guard officials don't anticipate any major issues with Forbes. Joe Blubaugh with the 190th Air Refueling Wing says people raise concerns about the noise and air quality related to jet operations, but, he says they would be similar to the impact from the unit's current tankers.

The Guard expects a draft Environmental Impact Study to be issued by February, with a final report by summer 2014. Public hearings would follow.

McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita was selected for the active-duty component of the mission.


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