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Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Darren McDew speaks during the ground breaking ceremony for several military construction projects needed to host the KC-46 Pegasus at McConnell AFB, Kan., on June 30, 2014. Air Force photo by A1C John Linzmeier

​McConnell AFB, Kan., broke ground Monday on several military construction projects needed to host the new KC-46 Pegasus tanker being developed by Boeing, according to a June 30 base release. Speaking during the ground breaking, Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Darren McDew said aerial refueling is a key component to "rapid global mobility" and "the KC-46A Pegasus will ensure we can continue to provide our nation with this amazing capability." He added, "This ceremony is about the men and women of McConnell boldly forging the future of our air refueling operations." The projects include a new aircraft parking apron, a one-bay and a two-bay general maintenance hangar, and a two-bay corrosion control and fuel cell hangar, collectively valued at $219 million, reported Indiana's The Republic, via the Associated Press. The facilities are to be ready in time for the KC-46's arrival at McConnell in the 2016 timeframe; initial operational capability is expected in 2017. McConnell will be the first Active Duty base to receive the KC-46; Altus AFB, Okla., will be the system schoolhouse, officials announced in April. Pease ANGB, N.H., is the preferred location, pending the results of an environmental impact study, to be the first reserve component facility where the KC-46 will be based. The first flight of the KC-46 is expected this year, and USAF plans to buy 179 of the aircraft through 2029.