Fairchild a finalist for new generation of Boeing air tankers

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The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force's aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the United States Air Force. (Courtesy photo)

The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force’s aging fleet of
KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the United States Air Force. (Courtesy photo)

SPOKANE, Wash. — Fairchild Air Force Base outside of Spokane is a finalist to receive the next generation of air-refueling tankers.

The Air Force said Thursday that Fairchild is one of five finalist bases for the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus airplanes.

They are designed as a replacement to the KC-135 Stratotankers that have flown from Fairchild since the 1950s.

The Spokesman-Review says Fairchild was passed up in 2013 for the first round of new tankers in favor of McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas.

A decision on where the new tankers will be stationed is expected at the end of this year.

The other candidates include Dover Air Force Base in Delaware; Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota; Travis Air Force Base in California; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.