Officials last week broke ground on the first of multiple construction projects at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., needed to prepare for the arrival of the service’s next generation refueling aircraft, the KC-46A Pegasus.
The new construction is estimated at $56 million and will include a flight training center, a fuselage training facility, new aircraft hangars and renovations for a combined squadron operations and aircraft maintenance unit facility, reported 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs.
In April the Air Force announced that Altus, located in southwestern Oklahoma, would be the formal training unit for the new tanker. The 97th Air Mobility Wing already is home to the C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft and KC-135 refueling aircraft formal training units.
Training for the new tanker is expected to begin sometime in 2016. With 179 new KC-46 aircraft expected to enter service through fiscal 2028, the training mission at Altus is expected to be fully operational by 2023 and will train about 475 aircrews each year, according to the story.