WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, today announced the final Omnibus appropriations bill includes $219 million in military construction funding for upgrades to McConnell Air Force Base (AFB) to accommodate the new KC-46A tankers. This figure is consistent with previous estimates provided by the U.S. Air Force for military construction at McConnell AFB as the Main Operating Base (MOB) #1 for the KC-46A. The Omnibus appropriations bill is expected to be voted on in the U.S. House and Senate this week.
“This funding is a vital step forward for McConnell Air Force Base on its path toward becoming the home of the new KC-46A tankers,” Sen. Moran said. “The selection of McConnell AFB as the home for the new KC-46A tanker fleet translates into an economic boost for the community, which will endure for years to come as each phase of preparation gets underway. This investment is great news for our state and the city of Wichita, which is and will remain the air capital of the world.”
The KC-46A tanker fleet will begin arriving at McConnell in 2016, bringing more than 200 airmen to the base. The economic impact in Wichita and around the state will be felt before their arrival, as military construction of the infrastructure necessary to safeguard and house the new, larger tankers begins.
The various McConnell facility projects include: installation of the weapon system trainers to be ready for the aircraft arrival in 2016; construction of fuel cell and corrosion control hangars; construction of a parking space and hydrant fuel system; and, construction of a squadron operations and aircraft maintenance unit building.
As the largest air tanker base in the world, McConnell Air Force Base is a key stakeholder in the Wichita community and its selection by the U.S. Air Force as the new home for KC-46A tankers recognizes critical role Kansas plays in national security and global air mobility. The base has been the recipient of numerous awards since its beginning in 1941, and received more awards over the past 16 months than all other Air Mobility bases combined. McConnell supports more than 17,000 people, military and civilian, and has an economic impact of $619 million. It assists all branches of the military and allied partners, refueling off of either coast and around the world every day.