by Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz
157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
9/21/2015 - PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- A
groundbreaking ceremony was held on base Sept. 18 to mark the start of
the KC-46A Hangar Expansion and Modernization Project.
New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly
Ayotte as well as The Adjutant General of the N.H. National Guard Maj.
Gen. William N. Reddel III and 157th Air Refueling Wing Commander Col.
Shawn "Rob" Burrus" spoke at the event.
"It's your skill, your hard work and your devotion to our nation's
defense that is bringing the KC-46A to New Hampshire," Hassan said
during remarks to those in attendance. "You've distinguished yourselves
as one of the most accomplished operations group in the country and you
are a great source of pride for the people of New Hampshire."
The hangars, built in the 1950s, were originally built to support
Strategic Air Command's B-47 Stratojet bombers and KC-97 Stratofreighter
The intent of the project is to remodel buildings 253 and 254 to
maximize the operational space in order to promote efficiency and
productivity in preparation for the arrival of 12 KC-46A tankers in
"Today's groundbreaking represents a significant milestone in that path
to fielding the new tanker, and once again reflects the collective hard
work of our state leaders, our congressional delegation as well as their
dedicated staff, local leaders, and outstanding 157th members," Burrus
Air Force officials last year announced that Pease ANGB was selected as
the first Air National Guard-led KC-46A main operating base because of
its highly successful existing active-duty association, which would lead
to lower active-duty manpower requirements. Its location in a region of
high air refueling receiver demand was also a key consideration.
"Though the renovations will look different and the aircraft flying out
of Pease will have increased capabilities, there is one thing that will
not change and that is the integrity, service and commitment to
excellent from the Airmen at Pease Air National Guard Base," Reddel said
during his remarks.
The KC-46A will provide improved capability, including boom and drogue
refueling on the same sortie, world-wide navigation and communication,
airlift capability on the entire main deck floor, receiver air
refueling, improved force protection and survivability and multi-point
air refueling capability.
Reddel thinks the N.H. Air National Guard has a bright future.
"The KC-46 is a national asset and it is the cornerstone of the Air
Force for refueling capabilities for decades to come," the general said.
"The new tanker will provide Airman here with advanced capabilities for
global reach and support Airman, Marines, Soldiers, and Coastguardsmen
all around the world."
He added, "It will enhance operation effectiveness and efficiency and
communications and but most importantly it will allow the men and women
of the 157th Air Refueling Wing and 64th Air Refueling Squadron to
operate and maintain these missions forever."
Officials expect construction to be completed in calendar year 2017.