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Ohio delegation lobbies Air Force to site new air tankers at Rickenbacker

Airmen from the 121st Maintenance Group prepare a CFM-56 turbofan engine for shipment April 23, 2019, at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio.Guard Base, Ohio. The 121st Air Refueling Wing's Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers have four of these engines, each capable of producing 21,634 pounds of thrust.
Senior Master Sgt. Ralph Branson/121st Air Refueling Wing Public
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Flickr
Airmen from the 121st Maintenance Group prepare a CFM-56 turbofan engine for shipment April 23, 2019, at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio.Guard Base, Ohio. The 121st Air Refueling Wing's Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers have four of these engines, each capable of producing 21,634 pounds of thrust.

Ohio congressional members are lobbying U.S. Air Force leadership to choose the Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base as the main center for a new tanker plane.

A letter the delegation sent in late June to Air Force officials at the Pentagon said Rickenbacker would be perfect for eight KC-46A planes, which are used to fuel planes in the air.

The delegation said the base's runways, new squadron operations facilities, plus other assets would be able to handle new activities with few modifications.

The letter also cites the base's good location to support refueling across the eastern United States. The base is home to the Ohio Air National Guard's 121st Air Refueling Wing.

"The local community strongly supports Rickenbacker AGS and its resident airmen and women, and low local area costs and availability of community amenities would facilitate hosting an active association unit at the base," the letter said.

U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and J.D. Vance and 10 representatives including Joyce Beatty, Mike Carey, Shontel Brown, Troy Balderson, Greg Landsman, David Joyce, Marcy Kaptur, Emelia Sykes, Max Miller and Mike Turner signed the letter.