A couple months after a House Defense Appropriations Bill passed to house KC-46-A refueling tankers at Joint-Base-McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, U.S. 3rd District Congressman Tom MacArthur visited the base for an update on allterations getting underway.

The bill targets $146.5 million from the U.S. Air Force to cover the cost of storage and maintenance of the tankers.

MacArthur says $72-million is being used for KC-46-A two-bat general purpose mx hangar reconstruction.

"They're taking down two old hangars that I've been in before, and are in pretty much need of repair," said MacArthur. "Those are both coming down and they're going to build a large three-bay hangar for the new planes."

He says the KC-46-A's need a specific crew maintaining them, so the challenge is finding who can work on them and the kc-10's currently on the base.

The first KC-46-A is scheduled to arrive October 1 2020.

MacArthur says he's encouraged so far on preperations for the KC-46-A's, just one of the things he discussed with new base commander Colonel Neil Richardson.

"He's getting his arms around now, for the last two months, the jointness of the base," said MacArthur. "I believe that's also a critical part of the future."

Our service men and women are fighting together all over the world he adds, so branches working in unison at the base is critical preperation for their own missions ahead.

"It's good for these young people to get exposed to the culture of other parts of military service and to actually learn to work together and communicate," said MacArthur.

MacArthur says one of the goals involves for operations at the base involves teamwork.

"Just like the reserves and active duty worked together on the KC-10's, they're going to continue to work together on the new KC-46's," said MacArthur.

In addition to meeting the new base commander Neil Richardson and vice commander James Martin among others, he adds it's important for the military as a whole to have reserves and active duty members work in unison.

In just over 2-years and 2-months, the first KC-46-A refueling tanker planes will arrive at JBMDL, so there's a lot of preparation challenges also on hand.

"The new planes have a different heat signature coming off the back of the engines and so they have to be staged differently on the runways then the KC-10's," said MacArthur.

He says there's also some work needed underneath the runways with the fire-systems and reconfigure how each of the planes will be parked along the base.

More From WOBM:

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