New Hampshire National Guard’s 157th Air Refueling Wing Potential Location for Air Force’s New KC-46A Air Refueling Tanker
Pease Air National Guard Base, home of the New Hampshire National Guard’s
157th Air Refueling Wing, was recently named as one of five Air National Guard
locations nationwide that are being considered for the Air Force’s new KC-46A
air refueling tanker. The 157th currently flies the KC-135 air refueler, an
aircraft designed by Boeing in the early 1950’s and built from the late 50’s
to the mid 60’s.
The new KC-46A is also built by Boeing – a derivative of the 767 commercial
airliner – and has dramatically improved capability over the KC-135 in all key
categories: air refueling, cargo capacity and aero-medical evacuation. Along
with the other four bases, Pease is currently being evaluated to host the
plane; existing facilities, runway, geographic location, and unit manning are
some of the areas being considered in an extensive process. The final
decision is expected to be announced in the early summer of 2014.
The 157th Air Refueling Wing is a significant contributor to and participant
in the Seacoast community and Leadership Seacoast specifically; Guard members
were in the founding class and we’ve had at least one student in every class
since. With over 1300 full and part-time personnel, the Air Wing had 65
million dollars in payroll and 48 million dollars in construction, supplies
and equipment purchases in 2012. We live as well as work in the surrounding
area and are involved in civic activities on all levels. During times of
State emergency the Guard is always ready to respond, with the ice storm of
2008, and flooding in Newmarket and Hampton Beach as examples.
An eleven-time recipient of the Air Force’s Outstanding Unit Award, the 157th
Air Refueling Wing is a leader in performance and innovation. Selected to
permanently host an active duty flying squadron under a program known as
“Active Association”, 125 active duty Air Force members from across the United
States also call the Seacoast home.
Proud of our state and region, we’re confident that our people, location and
record of superior performance will make us the clear choice to host the Air
Force’s newest tanker and continue our tradition of service to the citizens of
the United States and New Hampshire.
Lieutenant Colonel Bill Davis is Logistics Squadron Commander, 157th
Air Refueling Wing, New Hampshire National Guard, Leadership Seacoast Class of
2007 and 18 year resident of the Seacoast.