GF Air Force Base to hear today if refueling will return

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This story is developing and will be updated.

The next wing of the Boeing-built Pegasus tankers are set to go to a base in New Jersey.

Menendez and Booker emphasized the joint base - the only one in the country to serve the Air Force, Army and Navy - is important to the the regional economy, employing more than 42,000 airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines, coast guardsmen, and civilians.

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst will receive a fleet of new Boeing KC-46A Pegasus air-refueling tanker planes, the Air Force's next generation of tankers, according to an announcement Thursday by the Air Force and members of the New Jersey congressional delegation.

The Air Force will put 24 KC-46s each at McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and at Travis, the senators said.

Fairchild is one of five finalist bases to be home to the next fleet of KC-46As.

The joint base is New Jersey's second-largest employer.

The Air Force will be in Spokane this evening for an Environmental Impact Statement scoping session, but sources said that would only help Fairchild's chances if the EIS process for all the bases under consideration turns up something that makes the Pentagon change its mind about Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst.

"I do not consider this case closed", she said.

Before its realignment, Grand Forks Air Force Base had been home to the 319th Refueling Wing in some capacity since 1963, most recently making use of the KC-135 Stratotanker.

The Air Force, in its statement, said the KC-46A will provide improved capability, including boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie, worldwide navigation and communication, airlift capability on the entire main deck floor, receiver air refueling, improved force protection and survivability and multi-point air refueling capability.