Settlement Leads to Tankers on Call:

The state of Washington now has an agreement with the Air Force that will provide KC-135 tankers for the Air National Guard’s 141st Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base on a routine basis for training and whenever needed by the state for emergencies, according to a statement from Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office. BRAC 2005 directed the 141st ARW to transfer its KC-135s to other units, but Gregoire filed a lawsuit, saying the action “stripped the governor of emergency access to KC-135R aircraft to respond to local, state, regional, and national emergencies.” Under the unusual settlement, Air Mobility Command will ensure the Air Guard unit has tankers each day for training and immediate access to aircraft in case the governor needs to activate the unit. If those aircraft are not available “for short notice state purposes” from the active duty 92nd ARW at Fairchild, AMC must provide them from other units.