Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) today applaud the United States Air Force’s preliminary decision to establish a new KC-46A Pegasus Air Refueling Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in 2019. The Senators were informed of the Air Force’s decision by the Chief of Staff of The Air Force, General Mark Welsh. Seymour Johnson will undergo an environmental impact study in the next nine months before the final basing decision in the spring of 2016.
“Establishing the new flight squadron at Seymour Johnson reaffirms the fact that America’s military does not move unless North Carolina goes first,” said Sen. Tillis. “This is a testament to the outstanding work being done by the airmen of Seymour Johnson and the people of Goldsboro and Wayne County.”
“The Air Force’s preliminary decision reaffirms North Carolina’s strategic value to the military,” said Sen. Burr. “This is tremendous news for Goldsboro, Wayne County and North Carolina and the community around the base. North Carolina is ideally situated both geographically and enterprise wide to best provide support and defense to our nation.”
The KC-46A, is a multirole tanker that can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. Boeing designed the KC-46 to carry passengers, cargo and patients. The aircraft can detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection.
The KC-46A will augment the older KC-135 Stratotankers fleet of the 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson. The 916th ARW is one of the most honored flying units in the Air Force and the Pegasus will enhance the wing’s global mission to support U.S. forces and NATO allies in air-to-air refueling, cargo and passenger hauling and aeromedical evacuation.
Senators Tillis and Burr applauded the Air Force decision as validation that North Carolina is the tip of the American spear.