SPOKANE, Wash. - A Thursday morning announcement confirms that Fairchild Air Force Base is not a preferred base for the KC-46A refueling air tankers.
According to Todd Mielke, CEO for Greater Spokane Incorporated, Fairchild was not selected as either the preferred first or the preferred second choice.
The Air Force announced this decision at a Congressional briefing Thursday morning. Washington Senator Patty Murray released the following statement in regard to the announcement:
“As I’ve said repeatedly, if the Air Force is truly committed to its plan to buy the full number of tankers, rebalance to Asia, and support operations around the world, Fairchild Air Force Base is the absolute best location for Main Operating Base Four. I’m outraged at the manner in which this process was run and I do not consider this case closed. I will pursue all avenues to ensure the Air Force explains every turn that led us to this decision.”
Fairchild will likely add more KC-135's to its fleet, increasing their number of aircrafts from 35 to possibly 60.
Mielke said that could mean an additional 500 to 1,000 airmen and women and their families moving to the area.