The future of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst got another boost this week, as the U.S. Air Force finalized its decision to base two dozen of its next generation KC-46 refueling tankers at the base starting in 2020.
U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Reps. Chris Smith, Tom MacArthur and Donald Norcross, applauded the good news, saying the new jets would help ensure the long-term viability of the installation for decades to come.
“The joint base has cleared a major hurdle for the much-anticipated arrival of the KC-46A tankers,” said Smith, R-4th of Hamilton, who is the dean of the state’s congressional delegation and a longtime advocate for the base, which spans parts of both Burlington and Ocean counties.
The decision by Air Force leadership was not unexpected. Back in January the service announced that both the joint base and Travis Air Force Base in California had been selected as the preferred destinations for the next batch of the new tanker jets, which are being built by Boeing to replace the Air Force’s existing fleets of older KC-135 and KC-10 tanker jets.