Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Charles Ortega said the selection of Altus Air Force Base for the first Formal Training Unit (FTU) for the Air Force’s new KC-46 air refueling tanker will have numerous benefits for the base and the city of Altus and Southwest Oklahoma.
“Any time we can create new jobs, it’s great news for our local economy and for the state as a whole. The training unit means new construction jobs and additional positions for maintenance and technical support—in turn that’s going to be good for our local businesses,” said Schulz, R-Altus. “But the fact that this base was chosen over so many others underscores the value and importance of Altus, ensuring even greater federal support for its continued and expanding missions.”
The Air Force plans 179 KC-46 aircraft in phase one of a 3-phase effort to replace 59 KC-10s and 400 KC-135s. The new aircraft will have more refueling capacity and will be more efficient, as well as offering increased capabilities for cargo and aeromedical evacuation. The KC-46A will provide aerial refueling support to the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and allied nation coalition aircraft.
“Our community understands the importance of Altus Air Force Base, not only to our economy, but also for our national defense,” said Ortega, R-Altus. “This was a competitive process, and the facilities, leadership, military and civilian personnel made Altus the best choice for this new training program. It is a positive reflection not only on the base, but on our community and our state.”