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Final Decision To Base Air Force’s Newest Tanker Squadron in NC

The United States Air Force selected Seymour Johnson Air Force Base as the Main Operating Base for a KC-46A Pegasus Air Refueling Squadron. The announcement was made by the Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson.

“The addition of 12 KC-46A tanker aircraft at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is a testament that North Carolina continues to be the tip of the spear for the U.S. military,” said Senator Tillis. “This decision is the result of the work being done by the men and women at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the people of Goldsboro and Wayne County.”

In 2015, the Air Force selected Seymour Johnson Air Force Base as the preferred location for Main Operating Base 3 and a subsequent environmental impact study found no significant impacts. Senator Tillis recently secured two provisions in the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that provided funds necessary for military construction at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base required for the KC-46A tanker aircraft.

This decision will transition the existing Reserve Air Refueling Wing from KC-135R aircraft to KC-46A with 12 Aircraft planned to be assigned to the base. Aircraft delivery is expected, pending contractor delivery schedule, the second quarter of FY2020.

The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all U.S., allied, and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. Boeing designed the KC-46 to carry passengers, cargo, and patients. The aircraft can detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection.

The KC-46A will replace the older KC-135 Stratotankers fleet of the 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson. The 916th ARW is one of the most honored flying units in the Air Force and the Pegasus will enhance the wing’s global mission to support U.S. forces and NATO allies in air-to-air refueling, cargo and passenger hauling and aeromedical evacuation.


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