The Search Begins

The Air Force on May 14 announced its basing criteria for the candidate locations of the KC-46A tanker’s formal training unit and first two main operating bases. Active Duty units will lead the FTU and first main operating base (MOB 1), while an Air National Guard unit will oversee MOB 2, said service officials. The FTU and MOB 1 are scheduled to begin receiving aircraft in Fiscal 2016; MOB 2 will get its airplanes in Fiscal 2018, they said. The FTU basing criteria include: mission (proximity of aircraft available to support air refueling training, student throughput, aircrew training systems, fuels considerations, and potential to establish an association), capacity (hangars, runway, ramp space, and facility considerations), environmental requirements, and cost factors. The MOBs’ basing criteria include mission (proximity to refueling receiver demand; airfield and airspace availability; fuels considerations; and potential to establish an association), capacity, environmental requirements, and cost factors. Once service officials have identified and announced the candidate bases, Air Mobility Command will conduct site surveys at them. The Air Force plans to announce the preferred locations and alternatives for the FTU and MOB 1 in December, and for MOB 2 in spring 2013. (See also KC-46A Preliminary Design Review Completed.)