- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The Air Force says FairchildAir Force Base near Spokane will not immediately receive any of the new KC-46A air refueling tankers.

The Air Force on Wednesday announced that McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas will be the main operating base for the KC-46A. Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma has been picked as the training unit for the new planes.

The news is a blow to Fairchild, which for decades has operated the aging KC-135 air tankers.

Col. Brian Newberry, commander of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild, says the base will continue to carry out its mission with the current tanker fleet. Newberry says Fairchild remains a candidate to receive new tankers in the future.

Fairchild is the largest single employer in the Spokane area.

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