New construction projects are to begin on Altus Air Force Base for the US Air Force’s newest refueling aircraft, the KC-46A Pegasus,” guest speaker 97th A.M.W. Commander, Col. Bill Spangenthal explained Tuesday, May 13, at the Altus Rotary Club Luncheon.
“I’m hoping sometime by the end of summer we’ll actually do a nice ground breaking on some KC-46 buildings and we’ll move on from there,” Col. Spangenthal said. Building projects totaling near $50 million include two KC-46A flight simulators, a cargo loading trainer, as well as a boom operations systems trainer, he explained.
To prepare for about 400 new residents, and 200 additional students each year, the Wing Commander stated the Air Force is conducting a “housing requirements market analysis” to help determine how much off-base housing is needed as base housing is near full occupancy, and to provide market value information to current homeowners. The new aircraft will have the capability to receive fuel to allow for more in-flight flexibility for longer flights, and will also be equipped with a weapons defense system.
Initial delivery of the KC-46A could be as soon as summer 2016. Spangenthal also spoke about AAFB winning the Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award, where Airmen and their group leaders were able to operate more efficiently thus realizing a $65 million savings.
Spangenthal said that on June 6, base leaders will reveal how the awarded $700,000 will be spent for quality of life improvements. Spangenthal also notified the group of the upcoming 2014 Wings of Freedom Open House scheduled for Saturday, September 13, which will be headlined by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird Demonstration Team, as well as other aerial performers. Altus AFB will also partner with Fort Sill to display equipment. More information regarding the Open House will be released in June.