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ICYMI: Senator Peters Announces Air Force Decision to Select Selfridge Air National Guard Base for Full Squadron of New KC-46A Tankers

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) announced that the U.S. Air Force selected Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County to host a new squadron of twelve KC-46A refueling tankers. This announcement came shortly after Peters led a bipartisan, bicameral group of Michigan delegation members in urging U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to select Selfridge for a new squadron of these next-generation tankers, which will be deployed by the U.S. Air Force for the next 50 years.

Detroit Free Press: Selfridge to get new state-of-the-art refueling tankers, ensuring base's future

“U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., told the Free Press on Thursday that Selfridge Air National Guard Base will be home to a new squadron of 12 KC-46A refueling tanker aircraft, per a conversation with Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall.

“The announcement, Peters said, ensures that Selfridge, based in Harrison Township in Macomb County, will continue to have a flying mission even as the Air Force phases out the current eight KC-135 tankers at the base.

“‘This is very good news,’ said Peters, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who spoke with Kendall along with other members of the state's congressional delegation on Thursday morning. ‘The KC-46 is a state-of-the-art aircraft... It is more advanced than the KC-135 and is likely to be in service for the next 50 years.’

“‘We’re also fighting to get a new fighter mission. That’s still going on,’ Peters told the Free Press, adding that he got Kendall's commitment that the announcement of the new refueling tankers ‘doesn't remove us from consideration for a manned fighter mission.’

“Peters, who is also a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, and the rest of Michigan's congressional delegation had been pushing Kendall and the Air Force to put one of two available new refueling tanker squadrons at Selfridge.”

Detroit News: Air Force selects Michigan base for future squadron of KC-46A refueling aircraft

“The Michigan delegation got the news about the base's future in a Thursday morning call with Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, who said the new KC-46A contingent will be a full squadron of 12, according to U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township.

“It’s a ‘big deal’ for Michigan, which was among 10 states competing ‘aggressively’ for the two future KC-46 squadrons that the Air Force hadn't yet made final basing decisions for, Peters told The Detroit News after the meeting.

“‘This is very good news for Selfridge,’ Peters said. ‘This means they have a new aircraft platform that will probably be around for 50 years or more.’

“The new refueler squadron will benefit from the $40 million aviation ‘fuel farm’ at Selfridge, which allows the aircraft to pull up to be refueled instead of having fuel tanker trucks traversing the base near runways, said former U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, a Republican who previously represented the base and is an honorary commander of Selfridge.

“‘It is more efficient, cost effective, better for the environment and much safer for our flight line personnel,’ said Miller, now public works commissioner for Macomb County.

“She urged lawmakers to turn their attention to Peters’ effort to make Selfridge a northern border homeland security hub, saying it would bring more personnel and possibly more air assets, water assets and more research, development and intelligence capabilities to Selfridge.”

Macomb Daily: Air Force selects Selfridge for squadron of KC-46A refueling aircraft

“A month of victories continues in the state of Michigan.

“The University of Michigan’s football team has won a national championship. The Detroit Lions are in the playoffs. And Selfridge Air National Guard base has been picked to get a squadron of KC-46 tankers.

“‘It’s a much more capable and advanced aircraft than the KC-135,’ said Peters. ‘This is an airplane that’s going to be around for decades.’

“Thursday’s announcement follows on the heels of the CODEL letter signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Peters and just about every other lawmaker in the state urging Kendall to pick SANG as one of the bases getting the new tanker. As they pointed out, SANG has an exceptional operational record, and stellar history in aviation.

“Earlier this year, this same group participated in the groundbreaking for a new $28 million aircraft hangar made possible by federal funding that Peters secured through his work on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“However, it wasn’t just the tankers that were discussed during the conversation with Kendall. Peters said he also pressed the Secretary on the matter of whether or not this decision would have any impact on other aircraft coming to SANG and he said it would not.

“Peters said that means a long-term fighter jet mission could still be in the works.

“‘It’s time to turn our attention to support U.S. Sen. Gary Peters in his effort to make Selfridge a northern border homeland security hub,’ said Miller, who chaired the Homeland Security Committee when she served in the U.S. House. ‘If Michigan’s delegation is successful in that, it will bring more personnel – and possibly more air assets, water assets and certainly more research and development and intelligence capabilities – to Selfridge to protect our nation. Let’s remember the Chinese spy balloon that traveled along the northern border including Lake Huron. Northern border security is critical to our national security.’

“‘The new refuelers and being a northern border security hub would ensure the long-term future of Selfridge,’ Miller added.”

Crain’s Detroit Business: Selfridge chosen to host updated refueling aircraft

“Selfridge Air National Guard Base will serve as base for an updated refueling aircraft in the coming years, ensuring the Macomb County military installation’s future relevance, according to U.S. Sen. Gary Peters.

“The ‘very good news’ ensures that Selfridge – on the shores of Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township – ‘will continue to play a key role in our national defense,’ Peters told Crain’s on Thursday, shortly after receiving the news from U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall.

“The KC-46 aircraft make for ‘more capable aircraft, more survivable in combat and they have state-of-the-art avionics that represents the future of the Air Force,’ Peters said.

“‘And today, Secretary Kendall put on the record that Selfridge will be getting a new squadron and it will be more aircraft than are currently stationed there,’ added the Democratic senator from Bloomfield Township.

“Peters also noted that he was specifically told by Kendall that the mission to bring the KC-46 to Selfridge ‘does not remove’ the air base from future consideration for additional missions.”

WJBK FOX 2 DETROIT: Selfridge base in Macomb County picked to house new upgraded refueling planes, Sen. Peters says

“The base was selected by the U.S. Air Force, which informed Sen. Gary Peters in a phone call Thursday morning about the selection. Peters and a local delegation have been working on securing the refueling tankers for a while.

“The KC-46 Pegasus is part of a new squadron of refueling jets that will replace the older KC-135 Stratotanker model, Peters told FOX 2, calling them ‘state-of-the-art.’

“‘And not just replaced one to one, we currently have a squadron of eight tankers at Selfridge. The new squadron will be 12 aircraft,’ he said. ‘That also means larger number of personnel that will be working there and the important thing is this is the state-of-the-art aircraft that the Air Force intends to continue to use, perhaps for the next 50 years to refuel aircraft.’

“It's a big victory for Selfridge, Peters said, because it's the Air Force's first new platform to come to Michigan in decades.


“‘There were two squadrons left that were not assigned and I know there were roughly 10 states aggressively competing for the two squadrons left of the KC-46 and today Sec. Kendall informed us we're getting one of those in Michigan,’ Peters said.

“The U.S. Senator said the air national guard base's selection will boost the nearby economy, putting ‘Selfridge in an even more secure position now.’”

WXYZ ABC 7 DETROIT: Selfridge Air National Guard Base chosen to host squadron of KC-46A refueling planes

“‘This is something that we've been working on for quite some time,’ Peters said.

“‘We have a tremendous facility at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. It is a wonderful base that has a lot of features that make it very important for the Air Force to make sure it continues to stay vibrant for the years to come,’ Peters said.


“Peters said he also confirmed with Kendall that getting this squadron doesn't preclude the state from getting a future man-fighter mission.

“‘He was very clear. We are still in the running if there are fighter missions available that we can compete for those to get,’ Peters said. ‘But we should also appreciate the fact that now we have a replacement for another aging aircraft.’”

CBS Detroit: Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County selected to host next KC-46A Pegasus

“Michigan’s Selfridge Air National Guard Base will host a new squadron of refueling tankers from the Air Force.


“Senator Peters says the squadron will help save Selfridge.

“‘Today’s announcement is very important, because that means this new state-of-the-art aircraft, that will be fighting for the next 50 years, will be stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which makes our ability to keep that base here in Michigan and contribute to our nation’s national security, will be assured for a long time.’”

WDIV NBC 4 DETROIT: Air Force gives Selfridge Air National Guard base new squadron of planes in Macomb County

“The Air Force just gave the Selfridge Air National Guard Base a big New Year’s present, which consists of a new squadron of planes heading to Macomb County, securing Selfridge’s future for the next several decades.

“Instead of partisan bickering, you had Michigan’s congressional delegation, executive branch, and county government pulling at once, which paid off.

“‘We know that there were 10 states that were aggressively working to try to get those KC-46s at their bases,’ said United States Senator Gary Peters. ‘So, with 10 states working their bases aggressively and two squadrons doing overtime trying to get this commitment, today we now know that we are getting one of those two squadrons.’

“Although Peters was thrilled about the news that occurred on Thursday, it still doesn’t mean that the squadron coming to Macomb that our congressional delegation isn’t still trying to land a fighter mission as well.”

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Air Force Taps Selfridge ANGB to House 12 New KC-46 Tankers

“Securing these new tankers is ‘a huge win for Selfridge, Macomb County, and our entire state,’ Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) said Jan. 12 via X, formerly known as Twitter. ‘This decision will not stop me from pushing to bring a new fighter mission to Selfridge as well.’

“For years, Peters has been urging the service to designate the base as the home for the new tanker squadron and a new combat aircraft mission to replace the aging A-10s.

“Peters had previously voiced disapproval of the Pentagon’s decision to allocate the F-35 training center to Arkansas’s Ebbing Air National Guard Base. He contended that Selfridge has superior qualifications, surpassing all mission requirements in infrastructure, runway length, and aircraft shelters.”