Hoeven: Grand Forks on Short List for KC-46 Tanker Mission
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Air Force has included Grand Forks Air Force Base (GFAFB) on its short list for basing the new KC-46 tanker. Hoeven has been making the case for Grand Forks, stressing that the base’s efficiency, strategic advantage, established infrastructure and enthusiastic community support make Grand Forks a prime location for the mission.
“We have repeatedly reminded the Air Force that Grand Forks previously hosted the KC-135 tanker, and there are several unique reasons why the base is well suited to take on the new aerial refueling mission,” Hoeven said. “Adding a tanker base to the north central part of the country creates more options for the Air Force without the loss of refueling capacity in other parts of the country. Importantly, the base gets enthusiastic support from the local community. They know the significance of the tanker mission based on past experience, and they stand ready to do whatever they can to make the KC-46 mission at GFAFB a success.”
Hoeven said the base’s location means tankers would be in a prime location to support the shortest northern deployment routes to various overseas areas of operation. The base’s infrastructure is first-rate and will require minimal modification to accommodate the larger KC-46.
Additionally, the process of standing up the KC-46 mission will have no effect on KC-135 activities that are ongoing at other candidate bases. Grand Forks knows the significance of the tanker mission based on past experience, and they stand ready to do whatever is necessary to make the KC-46 mission at GFAFB a success, Hoeven said.
There are four other bases on the short list, including Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, Travis Air Force Base in California and Joint Base McGuire-Dix in New Jersey. The Air Force expects announcement of its preferred base this winter.
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