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The Air Force has selected both McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita and Forbes Airfield in Topeka as finalists for basing air refueling tankers.
U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts said both installations are finalists for the main operating base. McConnell is also a finalist to house the formal training unit.
Roberts told KFDI News this is a "tremendous pat on the back to our airmen and our airwomen stationed in Kansas, both active-duty and National Guard." Roberts said bases in Washington state and North Dakota are also on the list of finalists, but he said Kansas has the best pilots and the best record.
Starting in 2017, the base chosen as the main operating base will support 36 active-duty KC-46A tankers.
The two Republican senators said the decision shows the Air Force recognizes the critical role Kansas plays in national security and global air mobility.