Air Force Assigns New KC-46 Tankers, None East of Kansas

KC-46 tanker Photo Credit: Air

KC-46 tanker Photo Credit: Air

The Air Force evaluated 54 active sites to become home to the new KC-46 tankers. Congresswoman Kathy Castor of Tampa announced in a late Wednesday afternoon release that her hometown MacDill Air Force Base lost its bid for the new planes.

In fact, no Air Force base east of Kansas received any of the new KC-46 tankers.

Instead, the Air Force is assigning the new tankers to active duty bases in Oklahoma, North Dakota, Kansas and Washington State.

However, five Air National Guard bases have been selected for the first KC-46 tankers: Forbes Air Guard Station, Kan.; Joint-Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; Pease Air Guard Station, N.H.; Pittsburgh International Airport Air Guard Station, Pa.; and Rickenbacker Air Guard Station, Ohio.

MacDill is home to the 6th Air Mobility Wing which flies an aging fleet of KC-135 refueling Stratotankers.

Castor, members of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and other civic leaders lobbied for the new planes to be based at MacDill

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told Castor during a phone call that the KC-135 tankers like the ones based in Tampa will remain an Air Force priority for decades.

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