Air Force Names Four Candidates to Host New Tanker Reserve Unit

The Air Force is considering four locations to host the first Reserve-led KC-46A Pegasus unit — Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.; Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C.; Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.; and Grissom ARB, Ind.

Officials on Tuesday said the service’s next generation aerial tanker KC-46As will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led global mobility wing in fiscal 2019.

Air Mobility Command and Air Force Reserve Command now will conduct site surveys of each candidate. Officials will grade each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure and manpower, according to a press release. They also will develop cost estimates to bed down the KC-46A at each candidate base.

After briefing the Air Force secretary and chief of staff, the service will select preferred and reasonable alternatives for the operating location. The Air Force plans to announce those alternatives and begin the environmental impact analysis process this summer.

“We look forward to the next phase of the process when preferred and reasonable alternatives are announced and our candidate base communities have an opportunity to participate by providing input for the environmental impact analysis,” said Mark Pohlmeier, acting deputy assistant secretary for installations.

Tanker units under consideration that are not selected for the KC-46A “will continue to fly their current aircraft for the foreseeable future,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh. 

Dan Cohen
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