KC-46 Executive Officer to Lead Air Force One Development

The Air Force has created a new position to lead the Air Force One replacement program and has chosen Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson to do the job, the Dayton Daily News reported. Richardson—who was nominated for a second star in February—is currently executive manager of the Air Force’s tanker directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, where he has overseen development of the service’s KC-46 tanker. The presidential aircraft replacement program garnered unusual attention starting in December, when then president-elect Donald Trump criticized the cost estimates of the Boeing contract and called for the deal to be cancelled. The creation of the oversight role was a direct result of “the recent high-level interest in the program and desire to place the program under strong and effective senior general officer leadership,” said Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek, according to the Daily News. Boeing has been awarded about $170 million dollars so far to perform risk reduction on two 747-8s, which are expected to be operational by 2024. The Air Force One program is also based at Wright-Patterson.

See also: The Next Air Force One from the June, 2016 issue of Air Force Magazine.