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Letter to The Honorable Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Mark S. Critz (PA-12) today urged the United States Air Force to select the Pennsylvania Air National Guard base at Pittsburgh International Airport as the first National Guard unit to receive the new refueling aircraft, the KC-46A.

The Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 171st Air Refueling Wing currently operates the aging KC-135 Stratotanker. Last year, the Air Force announced the winner of the long-awaited aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft replacement program -- Boeing's KC-46, which is due to enter the active duty service beginning in 2016. The Air Force has identified 2017 as the first aircraft delivery for an Air National Guard unit.

"Pittsburgh's strategic location…coupled with the outstanding facilities (hanger, runway, ramp) and support of both the existing Air National Guard unit (171st Air Refueling Wing) and the civilian community gives me every hope that this base will compete well in the selection criteria," wrote Congressman Critz in a letter today to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. "As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am energized about moving forward with this much-needed program of record. As a Pennsylvanian, it is my sincere desire that Pennsylvania will ultimately be selected for MOB #2 and lead the way in the integration of this new and exciting platform into our nation's military."

According to the Air Force, candidate base announcements will be made later this summer; preferred and reasonable alternatives will be announced in the Spring 2013; final basing decision will occur in the Spring 2014; and the first aircraft delivery will be in 2017.

A copy of Congressman Critz's letter is attached and below:

July 12, 2012

The Honorable Michael B. Donley

Secretary of the Air Force

1670 Air Force Pentagon

Washington, DC 20330-1670

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am writing today regarding the strategic basing selection criteria for the Air Force's newest refueling aircraft, the KC-46A. As your team moves forward with a comprehensive enterprise-wide look and validation of candidates for fleet basing, I would like to take this opportunity to voice my support for the Air National Guard base at Pittsburgh International Airport in Coraopolis, Pa for Main Operating Base #2.

Pittsburgh's strategic location, certain to score well in the Air Refueling Receiver Demand Model, coupled with the outstanding facilities (hanger, runway, ramp) and support of both the existing Air National Guard unit (171st Air Refueling Wing) and the civilian community gives me every hope that this base will compete well in the selection criteria. Some of the 171st's accolades include:

One of the most tasked units for U.S. Defense Alert Missions (NOBLE EAGLE)

Highest flight time of all ANG KC-135 units (2010-2011)

Lead wing for ODYSSEY DAWN/UNIFIED PROTECTOR in Libya

Named TOP ANG Unit for 2011 by the Air Force Association

Received Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for 2011

As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am energized about moving forward with this much-needed program of record. As a Pennsylvanian, it is my sincere desire that Pennsylvania will ultimately be selected for MOB #2 and lead the way in the integration of this new and exciting platform into our nation's military. Again, I appreciate your leadership and meticulous attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Mark Critz

Member of Congress


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