The Secretary of the Air Force has completed a tour of Grissom Air Reserve Base in Miami and Cass counties. Deborah Lee James visited the installation after an invite from Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Grissom is home to the 434th Air Refueling Wing.
In late October, Grissom was passed over by the Air Force as the primary home of the country’s first Reserve-led KC-46A Pegasus fleet. The military refueling aircraft is a new class and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina was selected as the preferred alternative. Grissom was a finalist along with Tinker AFB in Oklahoma and Westover ARB in Massachusetts. The Air Force said reasonable alternatives not selected would "continue to be evaluated" as part of an environmental impact analysis process and would be eligible to "likely compete" for future basing decisions for the KC-46.
Following the decision, Donnelly sent James a letter, inviting her to the base. She took him up on the offer this week and Donnelly says "this was an important opportunity to show Secretary James all that Grissom has to offer and the critical role Grissom plays in supporting our war fighters. The base has a strategic location, excellent infrastructure, and the unwavering support of Hoosiers. I am confident that Grissom will continue to play a large and growing role in our national defense for decades to come, and I will continue to work to ensure the Air Force recognizes the tremendous asset they have here in Indiana."
The Miami County Economic Development Authority says Grissom is Miami County’s largest employer with 2,600 workers and an annual economic impact of $128 million.