It’s great news that McConnell Air Force Base is a finalist in two competitions to be a home of the new Air Force refueling tankers, and that Forbes Field in Topeka is a finalist in the third competition.
McConnell is competing for a main training base led by an active-duty unit and for an active base for mobility. Forbes is a finalist for an operating base with an Air National Guard unit that does refueling. The winners in each competition are expected to be announced by June and receive the first of the new tankers in 2016.
Being selected would be a boon to Wichita and Topeka. Not only would there be the economic benefit of hosting the tankers and their crews, but the bases likely would be spared during future base-closing reviews.
McConnell is already the world’s largest tanker base and would be a smart choice for the new tankers. Here’s hoping the Air Force agrees.
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For the editorial board, Phillip Brownlee