Fairchild Air Force Base is among those that have made the U.S. Air Force's short list of potential future homes for the KC-46A aerial refueling tankers, according to a Greater Spokane Incorporated press release issued this afternoon.
GSI spokeswoman Maria Vandervert says the list of candidates to receive the KC-46A was pared to 10 from 54. A final decision on the three Air Force installations that will house the new tankers is expected in April, she says.
In a separate release, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., says, "Today's decision by the Air Force speaks to a proud military community in Spokane that I am confident is well suited to host the KC-46A refueling tankers."
The release from Murray's office, issued with U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Wash., says Fairchild already has much of the needed capacity to accommodate the KC-46A, including a 14,000-foot runway. More than $400 million has been invested in the base's infrastructure during the last several decades, including the recent additions of a new fitness center and a new wing command headquarters.
Fairchild is currently home to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, housing KC-135 tankers. According to a recent Journal of Business list, the base employed almost 2,900 people full time as of Nov. 1. That doesn't include 1,000 Air National Guard personnel, some Air Force Reserve personnel, or nearly 500 civilians who work there.
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