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Published December 12, 2012, 03:23 PM

Air Force Delays Release of List of Finalists for Tanker Mission

The U.S. Air Force has delayed its decision to release a list of finalists among bases eligible to receive the KC-46A aerial refueling tanker mission, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said today.

The U.S. Air Force has delayed its decision to release a list of finalists among bases eligible to receive the KC-46A aerial refueling tanker mission, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said today.

Hoeven, who met last week with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh to make the case for Grand Forks Air Force Base to be a site for the new tanker mission, said Welsh had indicated he expected to announce the finalists today.

While the Air Force did not an alternative date today, Hoeven said the indications are that the list will be released sometime over the next few weeks.

“Grand Forks Air Force Base has long played a major role in upholding our nation’s defenses, and we will continue to push for locating the KC-46A,” Hoeven said in a news release. “The base has outstanding infrastructure and is already working jointly with the Air Guard on the Predator mission. Both these capabilities make Grand Forks well suited to effectively execute the new tanker mission.”

The Air Force is currently using a strict set of criteria to compile a list of candidate bases best positioned to serve as the permanent sites for the new KC-46A aerial refueling tanker. Welsh said earlier that he expects that three bases – one Guard base, one training base and one active duty base – will be selected from the candidate finalists list by the spring of 2013.

Hoeven serves as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

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