Grissom ARB to hold public meeting to discuss siting of KC-46A Pegasus tankers

A US Air Force KC-46 Pegasus tanker in flight.
Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe

LONDON – Under a recent plan, Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana remains an alternative location for the basing of a squadron of 12 KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft. A public meeting is to be held next month to discuss the basing process.

The Department of the Air Force (DAF) is proposing to base the KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft at an installation with an established Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) unit. This base will be Main Operating Base 5 (MOB 5) for KC-46A tanker aircraft within the continental United States.

PHOTO: KC-46 Pegasus from Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., participate in an elephant walk, Sept. 8, 2021. The aircraft display showcased a collective readiness and ability to generate combat airpower at a moment’s notice ensuring regional stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Nelson)

A single squadron of twelve (12) KC-46A aircraft will be based at the MOB 5 installation. This AFRC squadron will require infrastructure, facilities, airfield operations and personnel necessary to support the refueling mission.

On January 24, 2022, the Secretary of the Air Force (SecAF) announced that March ARB had been selected as the preferred alternative with Grissom ARB and Tinker AFB as the reasonable alternatives.

In a latest announcement, Grissom is to hold a public meeting Dec. 6, from 5-8 p.m. at the Milestone Event Center located at 1458 North Liberator St., Peru, IN 46970.

The meeting is designed to inform community members on a proposed beddown of 12 KC-46A Pegasus aircraft as part of the Main Operating Base 5 mission.

While not selected as the primary location, Grissom Air Reserve Base remains as a preferred alternate location for the latest KC-46 refueling aircraft. March Air Reserve Base in Riverside California was selected as the primary location.

Map of US Air Force KC-46A beddown including Grissom ARB, Indiana

“The event is designed to be a ‘come-and-go’ meeting,” said Douglas Hays, chief of public affairs.

“Guests can show up at any time during the event, review displays, talk with leadership, pilots of both the KC-46 and KC-135R Stratotanker, and learn more about the potential environmental impact if the latest air refueler is based out of Grissom.”

Public comments will be accepted, but public testimony will not be an option. The Air Force is developing an environmental scoping study to address the potential environmental consequences of the KC-46A MOB 5 beddown.

“We’ve had tremendous support from the community as we’ve gone through the KC-46 basing process,” Hays said. “We hope that our community partners will take advantage of this public meeting to visit us and learn more about the basing process.”

The purpose of the MOB5 mission is to provide a fully capable, combat operational KC-46A aerial refueling squadron, or squadrons, to accomplish aerial refueling and related missions.

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