Campaign begins to get KC-46A based at Fairchild

By:  Staff Writer
Source: KXLY.com

SPOKANE, Wash. - US Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell visited Spokane Monday to campaign for Fairchild Air Force Base to be one of the first recipients of the next generation KC-46A tanker.

The senators, along with Spokane city leaders, met Monday to campaign for the Air Force to select Fairchild as one of its bases for the new tankers, being built by Boeing to replace the KC-135, which was also designed and by Boeing back in the 1950s and 60s.

Getting the new tankers based at Fairchild will bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the area, create jobs and help keep Fairchild a viable airbase well into the 21st Century.

"We've worked really hard to get these tankers built and now that they're going to be built, we certainly want them deployed here in Spokane," Senator Cantwell said.

Fairchild is the only tanker base west of the Mississippi River, which puts it in close proximity with Asia.

Local leaders hope that will help the Air Force make its final decision on tanker basing.

Sen. Cantwell says the Air Force will release its list of criteria in what its looking for in March and will take about a year to decide where they'll build and base the tankers.

Boeing plans to roll out the first KC-46A tankers by 2017.