- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) - The new generation of air refueling tankers is coming to New Hampshire’s Pease Air National Guard, the Air Force said.

The 12 KC-46A tankers will replace a current fleet of 1950s-era KC-135 tankers at Pease. They are expected to arrive at the 157th Refueling Wing in Fiscal Year 2018.

The project at Pease is estimated to create 100 jobs.

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, which has worked for several years for the tankers to be brought to the state, and Gov. Maggie Hassan said Wednesday they were pleased by the announcement and proud of the wing’s service record.

“The Air Force’s decision to base the KC-46A Pegasus at Pease Air National Guard Base is the culmination of many years of dedicated service by the total force airmen who support both our state and federal missions and ensure the national security requirements of our country in the northeast United States will be met for many decades,” said Col. Paul Hutchinson, commander of the 157th Air Refueling Wing.

The new tankers are said to be quieter, more fuel efficient and adaptable to multiple missions.

Hutchinson said last year the new jobs generated by the project would represent an infusion of $7 million in payroll to the Seacoast area.

The president’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request calls for $41.9 million in military construction for Pease Air National Guard base to prepare for KC-46A operations.