This story is developing and will be updated.
The other four bases in consideration to receive the KC-46A tankers are Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, Travis Air Force Base in California and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
GRAND FORKS-A refueling mission will likely not be coming back to the Grand Forks Air Force Base at this time.
The next wing of the new Pegasus tanker will go to Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, according to Sen.
The Air Mobility Command at the New Jersey base already focuses on air refueling, with both the active-duty 305th Air Mobility Wing and the reserve-unit 514th Air Mobility flying the KC-10 Extender.
The Air Force will be in Spokane this evening for an Environmental Impact Statement scoping session, but sources said that would only help Fairchild’s chances if the EIS process for all the bases under consideration turns up something that makes the Pentagon change its mind about Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst. The last of the KC-135s-the precursor to the KC-46A-left the base in 2010. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a press release this morning. It is important to note that Thursday’s announcement is preliminary and the two bases chosen will be vetted for the next year before a final decision is made. In 2013, when Air Force chose the base to receive the first fleet of the next-generation tankers, Fairchild was the preferred alternative to the selected base, McConnell Air Force Base, in Kansas.
“I do not consider this case closed”, she said.
“I look forward to working with the Air Force to ensure that”.