Grissom ARB being considered as operating base for new strategic military transport aircraft

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By USAF Christopher Okula - usaf.mil, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70105409

Members of the Indiana congressional delegation in urging the Air Force to consider Grissom Air Reserve Base in Miami County as the fifth Main Operating Base for the new KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft.

In a letter to Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth, the members highlighted the many advantages Grissom would offer as a base for KC-46A aircraft, including its history of operations and maintenance excellence, strategic location, capacity to support additional aircraft, strong local and state partnerships, and exceptional employment and educational opportunities in the surrounding community for military families and Reserve Airmen.

Walorski was joined by U.S. Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun, and U.S. Reps. Frank Mrvan (IN-01), Jim Banks (IN-03), Jim Baird (IN-04), Victoria Spartz (IN-05), Greg Pence (IN-06), André Carson (IN-07), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08), and Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09) in the letter asking Acting Secretary Roth to give full and fair consideration for basing the KC-46A at Grissom and inviting him to tour the base.

Earlier this month, the Air Force announced six candidate bases to host the next KC-46A Reserve component: Grissom ARB in Indiana, Beale Air Force Base in California, Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Field Washington in Maryland, March ARB in California, Niagara Falls ARB in New York, and Tinker AFB in Oklahoma.

All six bases under consideration are military installations in the continental U.S. with an Air Force Reserve Command-led KC-135 tanker mission and minimum 7,000 feet of runway. A total of 12 KC-46As will replace the KC-135s at one of the six candidate locations.

The designation would add 190 new jobs to the base, bringing total personnel servicing the 434th Air Refueling Wing to 112 officers, 555 enlisted, and 34 civilians. The preferred locations will be announced this fall. Once a base is selected, full operational capacity is expected to be completed in the second quarter of fiscal year 2027.

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