It’s a Done Deal

Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Todd Tiahrt, both Republicans from Kansas, say they “were able to secure a commitment” from Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, to base KC-X tanker aircraft at McConnell Air Force Base. The base is home to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing that currently flies KC-135s. Discussions with Moseley yielded the deal “to bring a portion of the next generation air-refueling aircraft to McConnell,” signifying the Air Force’s “long-term commitment to the installation,” the two lawmakers said in a joint statement, dated Jan. 22. “Congressman Tiahrt and I have been pursing this development for some time, and we are pleased to make this announcement,” stated Roberts. Decisions about the number of KC-X tankers and the timing of their arrival at McConnell have not yet been determined and will be dictated by KC-X procurement schedules, they wrote. Since USAF already included McConnell on its recently released list of sites for the KC-X, perhaps the agreement means the Kansas base has moved up on the timetable. And, since the base flies the current tanker, it would also seem the required environmental impact assessment would be a relative slam-dunk.