KC-46A Beddown Decision Expected Soon

The Air Force intends to announce this month where it will establish the KC-46A tanker schoolhouse and first two KC-46 operational units, said Secretary Michael Donley. The basing decision “is on track,” Donley told the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 7. “We do expect it later this month,” he said. The initial two operating sites will be the first Active Duty main operating base, or MOB 1, and first Air National Guard location, or MOB 2. The Air Force announced the candidate locations in January. “It is not necessarily the end of the world for those bases not chosen. They’ll continue to operate the KC-135 going forward,” said Donley before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel on May. 8. Plus, they will still have the chance to secure new tankers later on as the Air Force modernizes its tanker force beyond the 179 KC-46 airplanes it plans to procure, he said. The schoolhouse and MOB 1 are slated to start receiving KC-46s in Fiscal 2016, while MOB 2 will field its tankers beginning in Fiscal 2018, service officials have said. In its Fiscal 2014 budget proposal, the Air Force requested the initial military construction funds to support the KC-46 beddown.