KC-46 Coming to Joint Base; Securing Thousands of New Jersey Jobs
Today, the United States Air Force announced a fleet of new Boeing KC-46 air-refueling tanker planes will be based at New Jersey's Joint Base McGuire--Dix--Lakehurst. The major news follows years of work by Congressman Norcross to bring the fleet to the state.
"Today's news marks the next chapter in the joint base's outstanding service to America, and the future looks bright," Norcross said. "The hard-working men and women at the base represent the best of the best in New Jersey and the Air Force. Stationing the KC-46 fleet at Joint Base McGuire--Dix--Lakehurst is a recognition of the strategic importance of the base and New Jersey to our country's national security. This will help protect the base from BRAC closure for years to come -- leading to more jobs, greater economic growth and a stronger, safer nation."
The existing KC-10 tankers stationed at the joint base had been targeted for retirement -- putting the base's future in jeopardy -- but last year, Norcross successfully amended the National Defense Authorization Act to prevent the Air Force from retiring the joint bases' existing tankers without assigning replacements. The Air Force expects 24 of the new planes to arrive at the base sometime after 2020.
"The KC-46 Pegasus will be one of the most elite air-refueling tanker planes in the world and provide vital support to Air Force missions across the globe. The plane is designed to carry passengers, cargo and patients, and can defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection," Norcross said. "Securing this new asset for the Joint Base has been a top priority of mine since day one. In addition to helping protect tens of thousands of jobs in New Jerseys, construction of the new planes will create hundreds of more jobs across the country," Norcross said.
Norcross has worked with a bipartisan coalition in New Jersey and Washington to secure the project. As recently as Wednesday, he met with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to continue advocating for the fleet.
"I want to personally thank Secretary James for her work to advance this project and for selecting the Joint Base as the new home for the KC-46 tankers. Under her leadership the Air Force has modernized and continued to serve our nation with distinction," Norcross said.
In addition to fighting for the KC-46, Norcross has also helped streamline energy installation projects at the Joint Base to decrease costs, make the base more energy independent, and to reduce vulnerabilities from external threats.
When elected to Congress, Norcross requested to serve on the House Armed Services Committee, where he has led the fight to protect Joint Base McGuire--Dix--Lakehurst. On Tuesday, he announced he would continue his commitment to the Joint Base and to strengthening our national security as a member of the committee.