A Promise of Tankers:

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) says the Air Force’s “top leaders have repeatedly told me that Grand Forks [AFB, N.D.] would be one of the first bases to receive the new tanker.” He plans to “hold them to that promise.” Air Force officials have not yet publicly committed to tankers for Grand Forks. Conrad’s statement about the tankers came after a meeting last week with base officials. Under BRAC 2005, Grand Forks is losing its current force of KC-135 tankers, and the Air Force has committed to placing unmanned aerial vehicles there. The Air Force sent a survey team last month to begin arrangements for the UAV mission, and the state’s Congressional delegation secured some UAV beddown funding in the latest war supplemental. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) also got Senate Appropriations Committee approval for some $14 million in 2008 military construction funding that would aid UAV operations.