Construction is officially complete at Tinker Air Force Base on the first hangar dedicated to the incoming KC-46 refueling aircraft.
The milestone was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, October 18.
At least 1,300 new civilian jobs will be added over the course of the decade-long project.
When complete, the 14-hangar campus will be the size of nearly 120 football fields.
“We will repair aircrafts, components, eventually engines, and software,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Hill, the Air Logistics Complex Commander. “Quite frankly, software is our fastest growing production group. It is our fasting growing production line. Its growing at more than 8% in the last 10 years.”
The KC-46 mid-air refueling aircraft is replacing the aging KC-135 fleet, dating back to the 1950s.
Boeing was contracted in 2011 by the Air Force to build 179 tankers by the year 2027.
“There are two things we have here, one of them is we have a work force here. We have a workforce because we have been doing this longer than anyone else,” said Senator Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma. “Second thing that we have is community support. Everybody says everybody has community support, that is not right.”
As construction continues, excitement builds for the future.
“Air refueling as a mission really puts the global capability in rapid global mobility, which really sets apart the United States Air Force from other air forces around the globe,” said Hill.
Officials expect employees to begin work in the late spring or early summer.