Frelinghuysen: Joint Base McGuire to Get Tankers First

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In January, the Secretary of the Air Force announced Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL), New Jersey, and Travis AFB, California, as “preferred alternatives” for KC-46A Main Operating Base 4, with 24 aircraft assigned to each base.  The United States Air Force has now informed U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) that Air Mobility Command (AMC) has decided to sequence the aircraft to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst with first aircraft arrival in FY2021, and to Travis Air Force Base with first aircraft arriving FY2023.  This schedule is dependent on the delivery of the new KC-46 aircraft to the Air Force by Boeing. 

AMC made the decision based on JBMDL’s proximity to vital refueling routes to and from Europe.  Additionally, the base will host the regional maintenance facility as well as a key maintenance training facility, thus benefitting from earlier aircraft delivery. 

“The Air Force’s decision to base new KC-46 tankers in New Jersey is an endorsement of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as one of the nation’s premier air mobility installations,” said Frelinghuysen.  “Fielding the KC-46 to the Joint Base first recognizes its importance to maintaining the critically important ‘air bridge’ from the continental U.S. to Europe, but also the Middle East, Africa and beyond.  I can’t think of a better base to host this new tanker.”    

As immediate past Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Frelinghuysen for years advocated for basing the KC-46 tanker at JBMDL with senior Air Force leaders, including various Chiefs of Staff of the Air Force.  “The message over the years has been simple: McGuire has the location, the facilities, the experience and the workforce to ensure that the Air Force maintains its ‘global reach.’  Nothing is more important for the warfighter!”

The final basing decision is expected in the summer of 2018.  The first new tankers are expected to arrive at JBMDL in Fiscal Year 2021.