Lawmakers Push “Fairchild First” Campaign

Washington State officials are pressing to host the Air Force’s first operational KC-46A tanker unit at Fairchild Air Force Base, near Spokane, following Boeing’s newly announced shift of KC-46A work to its facility in Everett, north of Seattle. “The first place for the first planes off the assembly line is only a short flight away,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D), during the kick-off of the “Fairchild First” campaign in Spokane, reported the city’s Spokesman-Review. Fairchild, which recently completed a new $43.6 million runway and upgraded its landing approach system and facility, currently hosts KC-135 operations, making it an ideal site for the new tankers, said Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D). As the KC-46 begins rolling off the assembly line around 2017, gradually replacing the KC-135, “the end of one mission is the beginning of the next,” said Murray at the Fairchild First launch event with local leaders on Jan. 9. “The assets this region provides are the best,” she asserted.