U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), along with Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), today announced that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill -- which passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee today -- includes $219 million for upgrades to McConnell Air Force Base (AFB) to accommodate the new KC-46A tankers. This figure is $27 million more than the May estimate of $192 million for military construction at the time of McConnell AFB's selection as the Main Operating Base (MOB) #1 for replacing KC-135R tanker aircraft with KC-46A's beginning in 2016. The appropriations bill must next be passed by the full Senate.
"The passage of this appropriations bill out of committee is a step forward in McConnell Air Force Base's path toward becoming the home of the new KC-46A tankers," Sen. Moran said. "This investment will prepare McConnell for the arrival of the tankers in 2016. It is great news for our state and the city of Wichita, which is and will remain the air capital of the world."
"McConnell Air Force Base is the largest tanker base in the world, and, as the first Active Duty installation to receive the new KC-46A tankers in 2016, we intend to keep it that way," Sen. Roberts said. "These funds are critical to ensuring our nation's ability to conduct global reach and meet vital mission needs. I am pleased that Wichita, the Air Capital of the World, will continue fueling freedom."
"The men and women of McConnell, the premier tanker facility in the world, continue to do an amazing job serving our nation and warfighters across the globe. As a veteran and co-chairman of the Air Mobility Caucus, I have a deep appreciation of the sacrifice our Airmen and their families make every day for the freedoms we hold dear," Rep. Pompeo said. "The new KC-46A tanker mission, which calls for this new military construction, ensures a longstanding commitment from the Air Force for years to come. Wichita, Derby, and the entire south-central Kansas community are excited and proud of the continued success of McConnell Air Force Base."
As the largest air tanker base in the world, McConnell Air Force Base is a key stakeholder in the Wichita community and its selection by the U.S. Air Force as the new home for KC-46A tankers recognizes critical role Kansas plays in national security and global air mobility. The base has been the recipient of numerous awards since its beginning in 1941, and received more awards over the past 16 months than all other Air Mobility bases combined. McConnell supports more than 17,000 people, military and civilian, and has an economic impact of $619 million. It assists all branches of the military and allied partners, refueling off of either coast and around the world every day.