Pegasus a significant investmentPublished: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 By: Cathy O'Connor Source: The Journal Record
A ribbon-cutting last week opened the new KC-46A Pegasus’ maintenance campus, the single-largest construction project on Tinker Air Force Base since the 1940s.
The 156-acre campus on the southwest side of the base will provide maintenance, repair and modification operations with the first KC-46A aircraft expected to arrive for maintenance in June 2020. The campus will eventually include 14 hangars as well as a system integration laboratory and new taxiway and area for significant future expansion.
The campus allows crews to perform any level of work on the aircraft, from checking the oil and other simple maintenance to a complete rebuild. The hangars are scheduled between now and fiscal year 2027, when the final hangar is expected to be completed.
The Air Force has agreed to purchase 179 KC-46As to replace the KC-135 Stratotankers, in service since 1957. It’s the first of a three-stage effort to replace the aging tanker fleet. The KC-46A features more refueling capacity and enhanced evacuation, critical to the Air Force’s ability to quickly reach any corner of the globe.
The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center is the Air Force’s largest depot and, with the addition of the KC-46A, it will remain the Air Force’s largest depot for the foreseeable future.
While several potential locations were considered, Air Force leadership selected Tinker Air Force Base for the Pegasus Depot Campus given the base’s long track record maintaining the legacy KC-135 refueling aircraft, a world-class workforce and significant community support. The site was a rail yard purchased from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. in a joint effort by the Air Force, city of Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County for $44 million and is an example of the Oklahoma City community’s continuing commitment to the Tinker Air Force Base and the preservation of approximately 30,000 jobs there. The 1,321 new jobs created through this project will qualify for the Oklahoma Quality Jobs program, allowing the incentive payments to go back to the city and county on a prorated basis.
This new facility will support and sustain the Air Force well into the future and strengthen the value of Tinker Air Force Base for the U.S. military. The partnership and expansion is also a vote of confidence in Oklahoma City and our workforce.
Cathy O’Connor is the president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.
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