Air Mobility's top general: KC-10 air tanker may be scrapped to save money

News-DemocratSeptember 20, 2013 

If the U.S. Air Force scraps the KC-10 air refueling tanker, it won't have a direct impact on Scott Air Force Base because there are no KC-10s based at Scott.

Gen. Paul Selva, the commander of the Air Mobility Command, based at Scott, raised the possibility Friday during a news briefing that his command would scrap the KC-10 as early as 2015.

The tankers, along with excess C-130 cargo planes, would be dumped as way to save money in the face of automatic budget cuts because of the federal budget sequester, according to the website DefenseNews.

The AMC maintains a fleet of nearly 500 aging air tankers, with almost 80 percent of them KC-135s that date from the 1950s and early 1960s. They are what's located at Scott.

Only 59 of them are KC-10s, which date from the 1980s, and they are based at two bases, McGuire Air Force Base, in New Jersey, and Travis Air Force Base, in California, according to Col. Pete Nizamis, the commander of the 126th Air Refueling Wing at Scott.

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

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