State and local officials along with Air Force leaders broke ground last month on the new KC-46A Tanker Sustainment Campus at Tinker Air Force Base, a community-led initiative that will allow a key economic engine for the region to expand.
The 158-acre facility will be the home of maintenance, repair and overhaul operations for the new aerial refueling tanker and be part of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. The depot maintenance operation will create an estimated 1,300 jobs and yield extraordinary benefits for neighboring communities and the state, Air Force Sustainment Center Commander Lt. Gen. Lee Levy II said during the ceremony.
“This is just the first in a number of military construction projects that over the course of time will deliver KC-46 capabilities to Tinker Air Force Base and for the Air Force Sustainment Center,” Levy said, reported 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs. “It will bring a number of hangars, ramp infrastructure, software innovation labs and engine test facilities so when the KC-46 is fielded, your United States Air Force will have full capability to take care of that platform for the decades ahead.”
CWG JV will construct the new sustainment campus on the south side of the base. The land, formerly owned by the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co., was purchased in February 2015 through a public-public partnership. The Air Force contributed $8 million toward the purchase price, Oklahoma City contributed $23.5 million and Oklahoma County provided $12.5 million.
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber led a coalition of local and state governments to support the land acquisition.
“We have long been, and will always continue to be, supportive to this base, to the airmen, to the families and to the mission that this base represents,” said Roy Williams, the chamber president and CEO. “This is just yet another example of where Oklahomans just don’t talk the talk, they walk the walk. They make these things happen.”
Jobs created through the initiative will be enrolled in the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program, allowing Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County to recoup some of their $36 million investment. Special legislation will allow the two governments to receive incentive payments for job-creating investments normally reserved for companies that move to Oklahoma or expand their payroll.