McConnell AFB, Kan., is the preferred location for the first Active Duty-led KC-46A main operating base, announced Air Force officials on Wednesday. Further, Altus AFB, Okla., is the preferred place to host the KC-46A formal training unit, while Pease AGS, N.H., is the preferred site for the first Air National Guard KC-46A main operating base, they said. “The Air Force chose these locations using operational analysis, results of site surveys, and military judgment factors,” said Timothy Bridges, the service’s deputy assistant secretary for installations, in a May 22 release. Before the Air Force can render final decisions, it must complete the environmental impact studies launched in April at all of the candidate locations, he said. McConnell prevailed as top choice for MOB 1 over Fairchild AFB, Wash., and Grand Forks AFB, N.D. Pease emerged as the MOB 2 top candidate over Forbes AGS, Kan.; JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J; Pittsburgh IAP AGS, Pa., and Rickenbacker AGS, Ohio. Among the reasons cited, McConnell “has the lowest military construction costs,” Altus requires “less Active Duty manpower” to stand up the training operation, and Pease has a “highly successful existing Active Duty association,” states the release.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.