Sen. Murray urges Air Force Secretary to station new tanker fleet at Fairchild
WASHINGTON D.C. — Washington Senator Patty Murray wants the United States Air Force to station its new tanker fleet at Fairchild Air Force Base.
In a letter sent to Secretary John P. Roth, Murray wrote that the local Air Force base, which is one of the largest air-refueling tanker bases in the country, already possesses much of the needed capacity to accommodate the KC-46A refueling tankers.
“The base provides substantial runway, hangar, and ramp capacity, as well as four squadron operation and maintenance facilities,” she wrote. “In addition to being well-equipped to support the operations and logistics requirements of the KC-46A, Fairchild also boasts Air Mobility Command’s best small installation-level Force Support Squadron for the second year in a row, ensuring airmen are supported in their personal and family lives, too.”
Murray noted that Fairchild has played a historic role in the nation’s aerial refueling effort, adding that the base’s location is well-suited to achieve “global reach to the Indo-Pacific and Arctic regions, and is a strategic staging platform supporting the rapid global mobility mission with access to a number of aerial refueling routes while minimizing transit fuel consumption.”
Fairchild, which is now home to more than 6,000 airmen, was built in 1942 after locals raised money to purchase the land as a way to encourage the War Department to put a base there.
“Since that time, the Spokane community has proudly supported the men and women of Team Fairchild, with the local area offering an exceptional quality of life for airmen and their families,” Murray wrote.
Read Murray’s full letter below:
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