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Air Force Reserve led KC-46A candidate bases announced

A KC-46 Pegasus taxis

A KC-46 Pegasus taxis during Exercise Nexus Dawn at Travis Air Force Base, California, on April 26, 2021. The Acting Secretary of the Air Force announced six candidate bases for future Reserve-led KC-46A Pegasus operations with plans for 12 permanently affixed aircraft to be stationed at the base chosen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brady Penn)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Today the Department of the Air Force announced six candidate bases for future Reserve-led KC-46A Pegasus operations with plans for 12 permanently affixed aircraft to be stationed at the base chosen.

Site surveys for KC-46A Main Operating Base #5 will be conducted this summer at the following Air Force Reserve Command units;

452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, California
459th Air Refueling Wing, Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Field Washington, Maryland
914th Air Refueling Wing, Niagara Falls International Airport Air Reserve Station, New York
940th Air Refueling Wing, Beale AFB, California
434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom ARB, Indiana
507th Air Refueling Wing, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma

“Our air refueling mission is the lifeblood of our joint force’s ability to respond to crises and contingencies world-wide,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, AFRC commander and chief of the Air Force Reserve. “This announcement showcases the next step in our commitment to global reach by getting the newest tanker into the hands of our finest Reserve Citizen Airmen.”

Detailed on-the-ground site surveys will be led jointly by Air Mobility Command and Air Force Reserve Command officials at each candidate base. They 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. Once the site surveys are completed, the results will be briefed to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force to select preferred and reasonable alternatives for the operating location.

The Air Force is committed to creating Total Force associations between Air Force Reserve and regular Air Force units at the KC-46A main operating bases in the United States. Plans detail that the base chosen for MOB #5 will be a Total Force Active Association which partners active duty and reserve units. The reserve component unit will have principal responsibility for the KC-46 and will share the tankers with one or more regular Air Force units. Active-duty and reserve units will retain separate organizational structures and chains of command.

The KC-46A provides enhanced capability over the current legacy tanker, the KC-135 Stratotanker. Improvements include boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie, world-wide navigation and communication, airlift capability on the entire main deck floor, receiver air refueling, improved force protection, and multi-point air refueling capability.