WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 5, 2017) — Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) celebrated the selection of Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington as the preferred alternative for the reassignment of 12 KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling tankers from McConnell Air Force Base. These new tankers will make Fairchild the largest Air Force KC-135 base in the country.
“This is excellent news for the Spokane area. Fairchild is a center of excellence and the largest employer in Eastern Washington. It plays a strategic role in supporting operations in the Asia-Pacific region,” said McMorris Rodgers. “This new squadron sets up Fairchild Air Force Base as the preeminent tanker base in the country and cements its role in the Air Force’s long-term mission of global mobility and reach. These tankers bring additional capacity and capability to Fairchild, a vital location for the Air Force.”
Fairchild says this move will bring 400 additional personnel to the base, along with their families and dependents. It will make Fairchild the largest tanker base in the country with these tankers permanently assigned. It is estimated that this move will bring more than $19.5 million per year in economic impact to Spokane.
In March, Rep. McMorris Rodgers and Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) sent a letter to Lisa Disbrow, then Acting Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, expressing their support for the selection of Fairchild Air Force Base for the reassignment of these tankers. In the letter they said, “Fairchild continues to be a vital location for the Air Force and a crucial base for national defense, the Air Force, and the State of Washington. We encourage you to carefully consider these attributes and select Fairchild Air Force Base as the new location for this squadron of KC-135 tankers.”
Rep. McMorris Rodgers is committed to rebuilding our military and restoring military readiness. These new tankers will continue to reinforce the role Fairchild plays in U.S. Air Force strategic operations and help ensure that Fairchild can continue to bring important economic opportunities to the Inland Northwest.
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