Two dozen KC-46 tankers will likely call MacDill Air Force Base home

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MacDill Air Pressure Base in central Florida is poised to turn into the subsequent household of the KC-46 Pegasus tanker, the new refueling jet that is changing more mature models close to the globe.

The Air Power named the Gulf Coastline set up as its favored location for a group of 24 energetic obligation KC-46s on Tuesday. It defeat out Fairchild AFB, Washington, right after the Air Force in comparison elements like the bases’ missions, infrastructure ability and price.

“We do not have encroachment troubles like other bases and have very well-paved runways, capability in our hangars and obtainable refueling parts,” said Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., in a Might press launch. “MacDill would make logistical and fiscal feeling. Tampa is a ‘tanker town,’ and we intend to continue to keep it that way.”

MacDill hosts U.S. Central Command and U.S. Particular Functions Command headquarters, as well as one particular energetic duty air refueling wing and just one Air Power Reserve wing of older KC-135R Stratotankers. The KC-46 would replace two dozen of those people jets as section of a press to modernize the tanker inventory. Fairchild flies Stratotankers as very well.

Air Pressure officers will make a last choice on the go to MacDill right after on the lookout at how it could affect the bordering ecosystem, looking at problems such as poisonous waste and noise air pollution.

Equally MacDill and Fairchild will bear environmental affect scientific studies in excess of the future two several years. A verdict is slated for fall 2023.

Pegasus tankers are previously, or are envisioned to be, stationed at McConnell AFB in Kansas, Altus AFB in Oklahoma, Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina, Travis AFB in California, Joint Foundation McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey and Pease Air Countrywide Guard Base in New Hampshire.

Those jets are coming on line as the Air Power is effective by way of a litany of style complications with airplane producer Boeing, which variety from a faulty gas growth viewing process to subpar cargo restraints. The enterprise had sent 48 of 179 KC-46s to the U.S. army under a $4.9 billion contract as of Oct. 31.

The new tankers gained restricted authorization to refuel aircraft in July, and now can company 10 styles. That addresses practically 70% of planes that rely on the Air Drive for aerial refueling, Lt. Col. Kevin White, Air Mobility Command’s deputy main of plane and logistics specifications, reported in a Dec. 6 release.

“Despite existing restrictions and deficiencies, the KC-46A continues to show its growing operational capabilities,” the Air Drive reported. “The Pegasus has concluded more than 6,000 missions, offloading around 37.8 million pounds of gasoline, and generating 28,000 growth and 1,900 drogue contacts considering the fact that January 2019.”

Rachel Cohen joined Air Drive Periods as senior reporter in March 2021. Her function has appeared in Air Drive Magazine, Inside of Protection, Inside Wellness Coverage, the Frederick Information-Article (Md.), the Washington Post, and others.

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