National Guard in OH to continue operating tankers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Ohio will continue to operate KC-135 tanker aircraft despite not being selected as the preferred alternative base for a new tanker fleet.

The Columbus base had hoped to be the top choice as the main operating base for the new KC-46A refueling aircraft. Those tankers are to eventually replace some older KC-135 aircraft, although the Air Force says KC-135 tankers will operate for many years.

Rickenbacker competed with four other Guard bases. But Air Force officials have selected Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth, N.H., as the top choice for the Air National Guard-led KC-46A operating base.

Ohio’s adjutant general says the 121st Air Refueling Wing at Rickenbacker will continue operating the current KC-135 aircraft and compete for future Air Force basing decisions.

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