Temporary Tanker Homes

KC-135 flight operations are shifting en masse from Fairchild AFB, Wash., to Spokane International Airport and Grant County International Airport, both also in Washington, during a year-long, $42.8 million renovation of Fairchild’s runway. That runway has 50-year-old pavement that has exceeded its useful life. Eight KC-135s will begin operations from Spokane, while the remaining aircraft (up to 28) will temporarily call GCIA home. GCIA, the former Larson Air Force Base, is the “ideal location for the mission to continue,” with personnel rotating on a weekly basis from Fairchild, roughly 110 miles away, said Lt. Col. James O’Connell, deputy commander of Fairchild’s 92nd Operations Group. In addition to ample facilities and space for aircraft, personnel “will be staying in dormitories [and] there are dining facilities and a fitness center, all within walking distance,” noted O’Connell. (Fairchild report by Scott King)