Kansas base selected to host Air Force tankers

McConnell was chosen as the active-duty tanker base over installations in Oklahoma, North Dakota and Washington state.

“We’re thrilled that McConnell AFB has been recognized as an indispensable part of America’s defenses and excited about the opportunities this creates for the rest of Kansas," Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) said in a statement.

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The Air Force also selected on Wednesday Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth, N.H., as the main base for the Guard's KC-46A tankers. The New Hampshire base will receive 12 tankers beginning in 2018.

The basing decision prompted lobbying from all the state congressional delegations with a base in the running, and those not selected Wednesday were not pleased with the outcome.

"I’m extremely disappointed by the Air Force’s decision today, and I have plenty of questions on how they reached this conclusion,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) said in a statement after Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington was not selected.

Murray said she was demanding a briefing from Air Force officials to explain why Fairchild was not chosen.

The Air Force’s selection of McConnell as its main tanker base comes after Boeing decided to close its Wichita facility last year just months after the contractor won the KC-46A contract.

The selected bases will be finalized next year after the Air Force completes environmental impact studies at the sites.

— This story was last updated at 1:09 p.m.