Illinois, Missouri Delegation Disappointed by Air Force's Decision
Scott Air Force Base not selected as candidate for Main Operating Base of the refueling tanker
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) expressed concern with the Air Force’s decision not to select Scott Air Force Base as a candidate for its next generation aerial refueling tanker. The Air Force selected five candidate locations after a review of existing refueling bases and may consider Scott for later tranches of the KC-46A aircraft. The joint Illinois and Missouri delegation will review the details surrounding the Air Force’s decision.
"I am very disappointed in the Air Force’s decision not to select Scott Air Force Base – one of our nation’s most important and valuable air bases – as a location for the KC-46A refueling tanker," said Senator Durbin. "I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues and the Air Force on all future opportunities to utilize Scott’s central location, superior infrastructure, and skilled and experienced workforce.”
“I am disappointed and concerned that the Air Force did not select Scott Air Force Base for the Air National Guard’s first KC-46A’s,” said Senator Kirk. “I am also concerned that Scott did not receive a site visit from Air Mobility Command until just yesterday. Scott's central location, capable Guard members, and proven track record make it an ideal candidate to serve as the Air National Guard-led Main Operating Base 2.”
“The men and women serving at Scott Air Force Base, many of whom are Missourians, carry out missions critical to our national security interests around the globe," said Senator McCaskill. "While I’m disappointed that Scott wasn’t selected in this round of basing for the KC-46A, I’m confident that the base will continue to be a strong candidate for future basing decisions.”
“I’m disappointed in the Air Force’s decision not to consider Scott Air Force Base as the location for the Main Operating Base of the new refueling tanker,” said Senator Blunt. "I believe Scott is a strong candidate for this opportunity, and I'll continue to work with my colleagues to support our national security interests."
In a September 2012 letter to Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley and Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III, Senators Kirk and Durbin highlighted Scott’s world-class refueling capabilities, central location and cost-effectiveness to demonstrate its strong candidacy to serve as the first Air National Guard-led Main Operating Base for the refueling tanker. Citing the capability of the 126th Air Refueling Wing and existing aeromedical evacuation mission at Scott, the Senators argued that placement of the refueling tanker at Scott would enhance the effectiveness of the Air Force’s next generation tanker fleet. A copy of the letter can be found here.
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