GOLDSBORO – Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro will be the new home of the KC-46A Pegasus Air Refueling Squadron. The squadron of widebody tankers should start arriving at the base in 2019 to form the first reserve-led squadron location. Gov. Pat McCrory made the announcement on Friday.
“Seymour Johnson is an integral part of North Carolina’s military community,” said McCrory. “The decision to locate this tanker fleet here reinforces the important role our state plays in the country’s military operations.”
North Carolina has the third largest military presence in the county, making defense a core tenet of the governor’s economic development plan. His efforts have also included tuition benefits for veterans and other programs. Bringing more than 540,000 jobs to the state, national defense accounts for about 10 percent of the state’s economy. North Carolina’s location on the east coast makes it critical to national security and military readiness.
“The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve are vital to accomplishing our air refueling mission,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said in a statement. “Therefore, the ability to recruit for and maintain a strong Reserve component association was a major consideration in this basing action.”
The KC-46 is manufactured by Boeing and can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft. Seymour Johnson won out over Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Westover Air Reserve Base in Massachusetts, and Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana for the reserve squadron.