Wichita's McConnell Air Force Base has been selected to be the main operating base for the Air Force's new KC-46A air refueling tanker.
Members of the Kansas congressional delegation issued a joint statement Wednesday announcing the Air Force decision. The aircraft will replace the aging KC-135 fleet flown by crews for the past 50 years.
“The Air Force’s refueling tankers have a long history in Kansas at both McConnell Air Force Base and Forbes Field, and it is great to learn that this esteemed history will continue with the KC-46A tanker mission,” said Sen. Pat Roberts in the release.
According to the delegation, the Air Force will base 36 of the new aircraft at McConnell starting in 2016. It also will be investing $192 million in upgrades to the base.
McConnell was chosen over bases in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Washington.
Forbes Field in Topeka was not selected as a site for the Air National Guard base but the delegation said the Topeka location would not be precluded from future refueling assignments.