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Ground-breaking ceremony set for hangars to house McConnell’s new tankers

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, June 20, 2014, at 6:22 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, June 30, 2014, at 8:49 a.m.

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A ground-breaking ceremony will be held June 30 at McConnell Air Force Base for the $197 million construction of hangars at the base in preparation for the arrival of new refueling tankers.

The ceremony, which starts at 11 a.m., is open to base personnel and invited guests, a McConnell spokesman said.

New construction is being done at the base to accommodate the KC-46A tankers that will begin arriving during the first quarter of 2016.

After a years-long process, McConnell was officially cleared in April by the Air Force to receive 36 of the 179 new tankers. The tankers will trickle into the base over several years because Boeing will build only 12 to 18 each year.

As part of that assignment, $219 million is being spent on McConnell. Most of that will go to build new hangars.

In May, Archer Western Aviation Partners of Chicago was awarded the $197 million contract to build three hangars and a parking apron for the tankers.

McConnell will continue to fly the KC-135 tankers, but those 50-year-old aircraft will be phased out gradually over the years.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rickplumlee.

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