McMorris Rodgers Leads Delegation Letter to Secretary of the Air Force Supporting Fairchild AFB for the KC-46A
SPOKANE, WASH. — Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers today sent a letter, co-signed by all 12 members of the Washington congressional delegation, to the Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James, expressing the delegation’s unwavering support for the selection of Fairchild Air Force Base as the next bed down location for the KC-46A Pegasus Aerial Refueling Tanker. Fairchild was announced as a candidate on June 23, 2016.
“Fairchild is the ideal candidate,” wrote the delegation in its letter, . . . “because of its strategic location to support the Pacific rebalance, its infrastructure and capacity to cost-effectively accommodate this new tanker, strong community support, and the mission expertise resulting from the classic association of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing and the 141st Air Refueling Wing.”
Note: Click here to read today’s delegation letter. McMorris Rodgers has championed Fairchild as a location to receive the tankers since the strategic basing process for the KC-46A began more than four years ago, including delegation letters and multiple meetings with Pentagon officials – most recently on April 15 at the Pentagon with a delegation from Greater Spokane Incorporated. She also met with USAF Assistant Secretary Miranda Ballentine about Fairchild and the tankers on March 1. On March 3, she met with General Carlton Everhart, Commander of USAF’s Air Mobility Command, to make the pitch for Fairchild receiving the tankers. Going forward, site survey teams will visit each base sometime this summer to conduct detailed, on-the-ground site surveys of each candidate base. The reviews will assess each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure, and manpower. Additionally, they will develop cost estimates to bed down the KC-46A for each candidate base. The information will then be presented to the Secretary of the Air Force for a decision on a preferred and reasonable alternatives, tentatively expected by the end of this year.