Spokane’s Fairchild on list for Boeing tanker

Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane is on the Pentagon’s list to house the Boeing Co.-built KC-46A tanker.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and members of Washington’s Congressional delegation lauded the announcement on Wednesday.

“I’m proud that Boeing was selected to build the KC-46A, and continue to urge the Air Force to keep the planes in Washington state,” Gregoire said.

Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers all vowed to keep fighting to have Fairchild named as the KC-46A tanker base.

But will there be funding for the construction needed to ready the base for the new tanker?

This report which was published earlier in week suggests base construction funding could get cut under sequestration, the automatic budget cuts that go into place if Congress fails to find a budget solution. No matter where the KC-46A tanker is based, basic infrastructure would be required, the Air Force said. However, funding for Boeing to build the tankers here in Everett seems solid.

Also of note, Boeing plans to put its defense site in Wichita, Kan., on the market by the end of the month, reports The Wichita Eagle.

The Chicago-based aerospace company originally had planned to modify the 767-based tankers built in Everett at its site in Wichita, where military applications were expected to installed. Last January, however, Boeing announced it would shutter its Wichita site and perform that aspect of tanker work in Washington.

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