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Altus selected for KC-46A training

Apr. 23, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
An artist's rendering of a KC-46A refueling F-16 Fighting Falcons.
An artist's rendering of a KC-46A refueling F-16 Fighting Falcons. (Courtesy of Boeing Co.)
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KC-46A Pegasus crews will train at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., when the tanker begins to enter the fleet in fiscal 2016, the Air Force announced Wednesday.

Altus was selected as a training unit because it is already home to C-17 and KC-135 training programs. The base already has extensive training infrastructure, meaning that new construction should be limited, Timothy Bridges, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for installations, said in a release.

McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., which last year was selected as the first base for active-duty Pegasus crews, also will begin receiving aircraft in fiscal 2016.

McConnell was selected to be the first operational base because analysis showed that it would have the lowest construction costs and it is in a location with a high demand for air refueling. The base is already home to 44 KC-135s, according to the Air Force.

The base is also a central location for the new KC-46A Regional Maintenance Training Center, the Air Force announced.

Last year, the Air Force said Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., will base the first Air National Guard unit, though that decision has not been finalized.

The official announcement on National Guard basing is expected this summer, with the first aircraft expected to arrive in 2018.

The Air Force will ultimately pick 10 operating bases for 179 KC-46As.

The April 23 announcement came after the Air Force finalized environmental impact reports and notified Congress of the plans.

Development of the Pegasus has passed the halfway point, the Air Force announced earlier this month, with the first flight of the test aircraft planned for this summer.

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