McMorris Rodgers Leads “Forward Fairchild” Meeting to Plan Next Steps in Bringing Tankers to Fairchild

Forward Fairchild Meeting

Spokane, WA- Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) hosted a meeting of the “Forward Fairchild” team today to plan next steps in the community’s efforts to make Fairchild Air Force Base the home of the KC-46A tanker.  “Forward Fairchild” is a committee of regional leaders to protect and advocate for Fairchild AFB, Eastern Washington’s largest employer.  The Air Force will begin its process of identifying a location for the new tankers shortly.  At today’s successful meeting, “Forward Fairchild” initiated a six-month strategy to bring those tankers to Fairchild. 

“I was delighted to lead this landmark meeting which will directly affect the future of Fairchild Air Force Base and the people of Eastern Washington,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “The leaders of our community – Republican and Democrat; private sector and public sector; military and civilian – are united in their determination to bring the tankers to Fairchild.  We are convinced that Fairchild is the best choice, and the only choice, and we are determined to make our shared goal a reality.  Now is our moment, and we must seize it.”

The Air Force’s Air Mobility Command is in the process of putting together its strategic base criteria for the KC-46A and is expected to submit the criteria for approval in March.  At that point, the Air Force will begin an enterprise-wide review of potential base candidates and make recommendations to the Secretary later this spring/early June.  Fairchild is one of the leading candidates to bed the tankers. 

“Whether you’re considering the age of Fairchild’s current tankers or the base’s proximity to Asia, or whether you’re considering the high quality of Fairchild’s leadership or the courage of its service members and their families, no base in the entire country is better qualified to serve as the first home of the new tankers than Fairchild,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. 

Since coming to Congress in 2005, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has worked to expand and strengthen the role of Fairchild – including making sure that the next generation of air refueling tankers is based there.

Every year, Rep. McMorris Rodgers leads the “Forward Fairchild” team to the Pentagon to meet with the Secretary of the Air Force and other high-ranking military officials to discuss the importance of Fairchild and the new tankers and possible new missions.  This year’s meeting will take place in April.

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