Doing the Upgrade Work at Home

A group of California Democrat legislators petitioned Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to consider upgrading the KC-10 tankers assigned to Travis Air Force Base on site instead of at an out-of-state depot. Since almost half the service’s KC-10 fleet is based at Travis, “the KC-10 communications, navigation, and surveillance/air-traffic-management program is of particular interest to our communities,” wrote Rep. John Garamendi, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. George Miller, and Rep. Mike Thompson in an Aug. 17 letter to Donley. Garamendi’s district includes Travis; the other lawmakers’ districts touch upon or are near Garamendi’s district. The three-year CNS/ATM program will update the KC-10s with new radios and avionics. Citing Travis’ recent experience with modernizing the avionics on C-5 transports, the lawmakers asked Donley to consider this proposal, arguing that retrofitting the KC-10s at Travis could reduce aircraft downtime and eliminate transit costs. (See also Garamendi release.)