Altus - On Monday, May 14 the U.S. Air Force released basing criteria for the planned OK-46A aerial refueling aircraft. Altus Air Force Base is a very strong candidate for the KC-46A bed down selection.
The Air Force officially published basing criteria and a weighted scale that considers multiple factors including missions, capacity, cost and environmental factors. In addition, the location must support receiver training with KC-135 aircraft, tanker training with heavy aircraft, a runway that supports maximum gross weight takeoffs, two hangars, at least eight parking pads, facilities for squadron operations and aircraft maintenance unit, a student training center, and potential to support transient student housing requirements.
According to Dr. Joe Leverett, Altus Military Affairs Committee Chairman, “Altus AFB is uniquely postured for virtually every one of the requirements for the Formal Training Unit (FTU) final basing decision. We have been patiently waiting for the release of the criteria and look forward to showcasing the base and community as the premier location for the KC-46A Formal Training.”
In the basing criteria release, the Air Force also detailed the anticipated time line for the first two bed down locations for the KC-46A. Formal training is scheduled to begin in 2016 with the preferred training base selected in Dec. 2012. The first two bases selected will be the training unit location and the first main operating base according to the Air Force. Altus AFB is considered by many to be the front runner for the formal training unit final basing decision.
In response, the Altus Military Affairs Committee has established seven action teams to prepare for a site survey visit from Air Mobility Command later this year. The seven action teams include: public relations, housing, city/county/state relations, community improvement, education, site-survey tri-fold, and congressional relations.
Although the basing criteria focus is predominantly on base capacity, it is commonly accepted that site survey teams also closely observe external factors. Dr. Leverett commented further to highlight the importance of establishing action teams, “As a community, we mobilized a similar effort during the MC-12 strategic basing decision and received strong positive feedback from the site survey team regarding our efforts to showcase the base and community. The City of Altus has a long standing tradition of exceptional community support for the Air Force. I am excited our community has the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to support the KC-46A FTU final basing decision at Altus Air Force Base.”