Selfridge Air National Guard Base Selected as Host for New Squadron of KC-46A Refueling Planes


U.S. Sen. Gary Peters has announced that the Air Force will station a new squadron of KC-46A refueling tankers at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

According to Peters, the Macomb County base was selected during a Thursday morning interview with 7 Action News.

Peters reports that Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall III told the Michigan delegation over the phone that the aircraft will be stationed at the installation.

“This is something that we’ve been working on for quite some time,” Peters stated.

Peters claims that the base will replace the “aging squadron” of KC-135 aircraft, increasing the number of personnel at the site from eight KC-135s to twelve KC-46As.

This is the newest, most advanced airplane. It is more capable, uses cutting-edge technology, and is more resilient. For fifty years, this aircraft will be used by the aircraft, according to Peters.

According to Peters, he and the congressional delegation from Michigan have been collaborating with the Air Force to secure a new squadron at Selfridge. Michigan is among the ten states that are striving to obtain one of the two available squadrons.

“The facilities at Selfridge Air National Guard Base are excellent. It’s a fantastic base with many qualities that make it crucial for the Air Force to ensure it stays active for many years to come,” Peters stated.

The base opened in 1917, and it’s home to the 127th Wing. Primary aircraft at the base include the A-10 Thunderbolt II and KC-135 Stratotanker of the Michigan Air National Guard, CH-47 Chinook helicopters for the Michigan Army National Guard, HH-65 Dolphin helicopter for the U.S. Coast Guard, and a variety of other helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft for Customs & Border Protection.

The congressional delegation from Michigan has been attempting to get an aircraft squadron at the site. The U.S. Air Force selected an Arkansas site in 2021 to house an F-35 training center.

According to Peters, he also got confirmation from Kendall that the state would still be able to get man-fighter missions after acquiring this squadron.

“He made himself quite apparent. If there are fighter missions available, we are still in the running to compete for them,” Peters stated. “But we should also appreciate the fact that now we have a replacement for another aging aircraft.”

When the plane will land at Selfridge is unknown.

What is meant by the KC-46A?

A statement from the Air Force states that the KC-46A represents “the first phase in recapitalizing the U.S. Air Force’s aging tanker fleet.”

Compared to the KC-135, it can carry more cargo and perform aeromedical evacuations. It will also support partner countries’ refueling needs for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

According to the Air Force, most fixed-win, receiver-capable aircraft can be refueled.

It began construction in 2011 and had its first flight in December of 2014. On January 25, 2019, the first aircraft was delivered to the McConnell Air Force Base located in Kansas.

The Boeing-built aircraft has a wingspan of 156 feet, is 159 feet long, and has 62,000 pounds of thrust.

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