News Search

Pease committed to new refueling tanker

The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force's aging fleet of
KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the
United States Air Force. (Courtesy Photo)

The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force's aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the United States Air Force. (Courtesy Photo)

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- Leadership from the New Hampshire Air National Guard have worked together with U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to devise a strategy to promote the 157th Air Refueling Wing as a leading candidate to land the Air Force's newest refueling tanker.

"The KC-46A tanker is a critical force multiplier and essential to the way this nation fights its wars and provides humanitarian support around the globe," explained Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton A. Schwartz. "The KC-46A is a game changer, and will be a great asset to the nation, not only as a tanker, but as a means to augment the airlift fleet, provide aeromedical evacuation and transport of passengers and cargo."

The Air Force released last month its basing criteria that will be used to select candidate bases.

The formal training unit (FTU) and first main operating base (MOB 1) will be led by active duty units. The second main operating base (MOB 2) will be led by an Air National Guard unit. The FTU and MOB 1 will begin receiving aircraft in FY16. MOB 2 will receive aircraft in FY18.

The basing criteria for the MOBs, approved by Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley and General Schwartz, include mission (proximity to refueling receiver demand, airfield and airspace availability, fuels considerations, and the potential to establish an association), capacity (hangar, runway, ramp space and facility considerations), environmental requirements and cost factors.

In a letter to the Chief of Staff, the Senators together wrote that the 157th meets the criteria.

"Based on the metrics the Air Force has selected, we believe Pease Air National Guard Base is the optimal location and the 157th Air Refueling Wing is the ideal unit for the KC-46A tankers that will be assigned to the Air National Guard in 2017," the Senators wrote. "The basing criteria places a premium on a base's location relative to operational and training refueling tracks, aircraft-related infrastructure, as well as the presence of a flight simulator and Total Force Enterprise. In each of these areas, Pease represents a clearly superior base for the KC-46A."

The Air Force will evaluate all sites within the defined enterprise against the approved criteria. This information will be used to identify candidate bases for the KC-46A. After the release of the candidate bases, Air Mobility Command will conduct site surveys at each candidate base.

"The candidate bases will be selected as soon as this summer," said Col. Laurie Farris, Joint Force Headquarters state director of operations. "Site surveys will then be conducted to determine preferred and reasonable alternatives and begin the environmental impact analysis process. The Air Force should announce MOB 2 (ANG base) in the spring 2014."

"The Air Force is committed to an open and transparent process to address KC-46A basing," said Kathleen Ferguson, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for installations, "As we progress through the basing process, we will share information so interested communities are aware of what to expect."

The Senators pointed out the many factors that make Pease a leading choice for the new aircraft. Among them the base has one of the longest runways, operates with a cost-effective hybrid of Air National Guard and active duty Air Force personnel and is well placed along the operational flight path to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

"When you evaluate the KC-135, which right now is 50 years old, then you fast forward 20 to 30 years, how do we keep Pease relevant in the future," said Farris. "As part of our Global Reach strategic intent, we want to be on the leading edge with the KC-46A; involved in Air Refueling, aeromedical evacuation and cargo missions. We have the strategic location, infrastructure and people to make it happen. With a thriving and committed active association in place, we believe Pease is the best choice for the KC-46A as part of the Total Force."
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.