MASCOUTAH, IL (KTVI) – It’s not the news Scott Air Force Base wanted to hear. The Base has been passed up as one of the main bases for the Air Force’s new aerial refueling tankers.
An Air Force spokesperson at the Pentagon, Ann Stefanek, says Scott was competing against 83 other bases for the new tanker and the base simply didn’t score high enough in certain categories.
Senators from Missouri and Illinois say they are disappointed by the decision.
The new tanker is called the KC-46A and it will replace the aging KC-135s, of which 14 are now based at Scott.
The new refueling tankers are designed to fly farther and carry heavier payloads than the KC-135s.
The Air Force selected five Air National Guard bases other than Scott as possible sites for the new tanker. Four active duty bases were also selected as finalists.
In the spring, one active duty base and one Air National Guard base will be chosen as the initial main bases for the new tankers.
Spokesperson Stefanek says there were four categories in the selection process:
- a base’s current mission
- a base’s capacity, including facility space
- environmental issues
- cost factors
Stefanek says Scott could still be re-considered for the tankers in the future.
The new planes are set to start rolling out in 2016. They cost $225 million each.
Find out more: Scott AFB