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Air Force holds KC-46 public meeting

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Air Force officials held a KC-46A scoping meeting April 21 in Midwest City, Oklahoma, where the public and interested state and federal agencies were invited to ask questions and provide feedback regarding the process of choosing a Reserve-led KC-46A third main operating base, or MOB 3.


The preferred alternative location for the KC-46A MOB 3 mission is Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, while the three reasonable alternative locations are Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana, and Westover ARB, Massachusetts.


The Air Force is projected to receive up to 179 KC-46A aircraft between 2017 and 2028, with the possibility of 12 tankers coming to one of the four Air Force Reserve Command unit locations. This is part of an effort to replace the Air Force’s aging tanker fleet to maintain the service’s global reach for the future.


“This scoping meeting is not about presenting results or findings,” said Tom Daues, a contractor working for the Air Force. “We are here to solicit feedback from citizens in the local community tonight to be placed in the draft Environmental Impact Statement for consideration.”


The environmental impact analysis process, or EIAP, is the Air Force's program for complying with the National Environmental Protection Act. As part of process, an EIS assesses the potential environmental consequences of basing and operating the KC-46A tanker aircraft, associated infrastructure and manpower at any location. The purpose of the MOB 3 bed down is to provide a fully capable, combat operational AFRC and Air Mobility Command KC-46A air refueling squadron to accomplish aerial refueling and related missions. The KC‑46A MOB 3 bed down is needed to support the recapitalization of the Air Force’s aging refueling aircraft fleet.


Contractors and representatives from the Air Force Reserve and Tinker AFB were on hand to explain the EIAP process. They presented large posters explaining each step of the process, as well as information on the KC-46 Pegasus.


Hamid Kamalpour, Air Force program manager of the KC-46 MOB 3 EIS from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, said the draft EIS is scheduled to be completed at the end of the summer and will be published online and sent to local libraries in the four communities near the bases.


“It’s important to note that the opportunity to provide feedback about the impact to Tinker and the surrounding area is not just limited to this time,” said Mr. Kamalpour, a federal employee with 25 years of service.


According to Kamalpour, the team will return to Tinker and the other bases selected as reasonable alternatives in the fall to hold public hearings, where a general analysis of EIS results will be available.


Although the preferred alternative base is Seymour Johnson, the Air Force is in the early stages of the EIS process, and no decision has been made as to the final MOB 3 bed down location, according to Air Force officials. During the environmental impact analysis process, all areas need to be analyzed.

After the hearing in the fall, comments made by the public will be included in the final impact statement to be reviewed by the secretary of the Air Force.


The final decision concerning the location of the third main operating base will be made in the spring of 2017 in the Record of Decision.


Members of the public are encouraged to visit for more information on the KC-46A bed down and to submit comments.