McMorris Rodgers Joins Military and Community Leaders in Successful “Forward Fairchild” Meeting

Spokane, WA – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) joined General Raymond E. Johns, Jr., Commander of the Air Mobility Command, and other military and community leaders today for a successful “Forward Fairchild” meeting at Fairchild Air Force Base.  Just days after the Air Force announced the strategic basing criteria for the KC-46A refueling tankers, the leaders convened to discuss the KC-46A refueling tankers and their continued efforts to bring them to Fairchild.

“One of my top priorities at the federal level is to ensure that Fairchild is the home of the new tankers,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers.  “After examining the Air Force’s basing criteria, I believe that Fairchild is in a highly competitive position to receive the first KC-46A tankers.  Fairchild not only has the capacity to house the tankers, but it offers a cohesive partnership between the Active and Guard Wings, and the base is strategically positioned as the Air Force continues to pivot to the Asia-Pacific region.  We have many reasons to be optimistic.”

Rep. McMorris Rodgers joined General Johns in leading a pertinent discussion about future efforts to bring the tankers to Fairchild.  They discussed the Air Force’s timeline and criteria, in addition to Fairchild’s many competitive advantages.  The Air Force will launch an enterprise-wide evaluation of all eligible bases, and the candidate bases will be announced in the upcoming months.  Shortly thereafter, the Air Mobility Command will conduct site surveys at each base, and the Air Force will announce the preferred and reasonable alternate bases in December 2012.

This week, Rep. McMorris Rodgers joined Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell – and the full, bipartisan Washington state delegation – in a letter urging U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley to select Fairchild Air Force Base as a home for the KC-46A aerial refueling program.  To read the letter, click here.    

“Today’s meeting provided a unique opportunity to meet with many military and community leaders to discuss an issue that remains at the forefront of all of our minds: the future of Fairchild.  The strengths our Air Force Base offers are innumerable.  I’m eager to continue working together to make sure the new tankers are stationed there.”

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