Air Force accepts first KC-46 tanker jet
Burlington County Times
January 10, 2019
The U.S. Air Force has accepted the first KC-46 tanker jet built by Boeing, a key milestone in the development of the new planes that are eventually expected to be stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The Air Force and Boeing announced the acceptance of the first jet on Thursday, officially kicking off the delivery process for the tankers.
The first jet is expected to be delivered to McConnell Air Force base in Wichita, Kansas later this month. More planes are expected to follow and go to bases in Oklahoma, New Hampshire and North Carolina.
Those installations were picked by the Air Force to receive the planes during the first round of selections back in 2014.
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst was selected for the second batch of KC-46s being constructed by Boeing, and is scheduled to receive the first of an expected 24 of the new tankers in 2021.
The base’s selection to receive the new tankers was considered a major victory for the base and New Jersey, as it essentially assures that the air mobility mission at the base will continue for the foreseeable future.
Currently 32 KC-10s and eight KC-135s are housed at the joint base. Those will eventually be phased out as the new KC-46s are delivered.
Congressman Donald Norcross, who was among a host of New Jersey lawmakers and officials who lobbied the Air Force to select the joint base one of the first installations to receive the new tankers, promised to keep close watch on the delivery schedule as it proceeds.
“I’ve been long-fighting for ways to safeguard New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and ensure the KC-46s are delivered to the joint base on schedule,” Norcross, D-1st of Camden, said Thursday. “These refueling tankers will bring new jobs and growth to our state and make our base an indispensable starting point for national security missions on the East Coast. As the delivery process begins, I plan to monitor the schedule and quality of the tankers as we move forward.”