CRAMER: Grand Forks Air Force Base Will Continue UAS Work Despite Disappointment On New Refueling Mission
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer released this statement following today’s announcement from Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee Jones that Joint McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Air Force Base in New Jersey and Travis Air Force Base in California have been chosen for the new KC-46A refueling tankers and refueling stations. The Grand Forks Air Force Base had been one of five bases considered for the new mission. Cramer was informed of the decision in a phone conversation this morning with top Air Force officials.
“While I am disappointed the Grand Forks Air Force Base was not chosen for this new mission, I remain very optimistic about the future of Grand Forks Air Force Base. Given its proud history of being the home of the 319th Refueling Wing from 1963 to 2010, returning the refueling mission to Grand Forks would have been fitting and appropriate. The Air Force knows well our great infrastructure, location and community support and how important they are to advancing unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations. In our visit today it was good to hear how bullish Air Force leaders are on how well the Base is handling its current mission on the new frontier of UAS. Considering current communications and Global Hawk operations and the multitude of opportunities the FAA Test Site and Grand Sky are bringing, today’s decision gives us a clearer vision for the future and our ability to pursue it.”