McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kan. beat out Fairchild AFB to be the preferred base for the next generation KC-46A tanker, it was announced early Wednesday morning.
"This is an extremely unfortunate decision by the Air Force. Fairchild Air Force Base has a strong tradition as an integral part of our national defense and is ideally located, particularly as U.S. strategy calls for directing greater attention to the Pacific theater," Gov. Jay Inslee said.
McConnell, home to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, was competing with Fairchild, Altus AFB in Oklahoma and Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota to become the preferred tanker base. Additionally, McConnell was competing with Altus to be the primary training base for the tanker. Since McConnell was selected as the primary tanker base, Altus AFB was selected as the training base, according to the Wichita Eagle.
WMUR 9, the AFB affiliate in Manchester, New Hampshire, reported that Pease Air National Guard Base was selected as the Air National Guard base to receive KC-46A tankers. The 157th Air Refueling Wing of the New Hampshire Air National Guard is based at Pease.