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An artist's rendering of a KC-46 tanker refueling a B-2 stealth bomber. Boeing illustration

The Air Force expects to choose the first Air Force Reserve Command-led KC-46A main operating base in 2016 and see the first KC-46 tankers destined for beddown there arrive some three years later, according to a release. "This basing action is another great example of the Total Force relationship the Air Force Reserve Command has enjoyed for many years with Air Mobility Command,” said Lt. Gen. James Jackson, AFRC commander. The Air Force will use these basing criteria to select the candidate bases: mission (e.g., airfield and airspace availability, potential to establish an Active Duty association), capacity (e.g., hangar, runway, and ramp space), environmental requirements, and cost factors, states the release. Service officials will evaluate all AFRC-led mobility wings that operate a runway of at least 7,000 feet against the criteria, leading to selection of the candidate locations in spring 2015 and identification of the preferred site and reasonable alternatives in fall 2015, states the Nov. 19 release. The final decision will come once the environmental impact assessment is complete. The Air Force has already chosen McConnell AFB, Kan., as the first Active Duty-led MOB, Pease ANGB, N.H., as the first Air National Guard-led MOB, and Altus AFB, Okla., to host the KC-46 schoolhouse.