New Jersey’s Joint Base candidate for new tankers

New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is in the running to receive the Air Force’s newest aerial refueling planes.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey says the state’s second-largest employer was among 11 bases listed as candidates on Wednesday.

The Republican says the announcement shows the base has made a positive impression within the Air Force leadership about its capabilities and missions.

The installation has long been a main tanker base in the United States.

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The KC-46 tankers will enter the fleet in 2018, replacing the KC-135 Stratotankers that have been in use for about 50 years.

The Joint Base has more than 20 Stratotankers and 32 KC-10s.

The Joint Base recently risked closure until the KC-10 Extenders were kept in the final version of the defense bill.

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