Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued this statement about today's news that the Air Force had selected McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas as the main operating base for its new Boeing KC-46A air refueling tankers:
"This is an extremely unfortunate decision by the Air Force. Fairchild Air Force Base plays an integral part in our national defense, and is ideally located to host this tanker, particularly as U.S. strategy calls for directing greater attention to the Pacific theater. Fairchild also had a clear advantage through its solid relationship with the Washington Air National Guard 141st Air Refueling Wing. The state, Spokane County and the Fairchild community made important investments to prepare the base to host the tanker. I want to thank Washington's Congressional delegation, state lawmakers, our Military Department, the Forward Fairchild Coalition, the Washington Military Alliance, Spokane County and the entire Fairchild community for their hard work in trying to get these Washington-built planes based in Washington. Together we will continue to fight for Washington's defense communities and the strategic role our state's bases play in the nation's defense."