Grissom aircraft temporarily moving to Fort Wayne
The complement of refueling aircraft at Grissom Air Reserve Base is moving to Fort Wayne International Airport. Grissom says the airport will be a temporary home for the KC-135 Stratotankers while a $60 million renovation of the base’s runway is completed.
The aircraft are part of the 434th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom. The planes will operate primarily out of the Fort Wayne airport during the early stages of the runway project; they will transition to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio once that base’s own runway repair project is complete.
“Runway repairs are typically done about every 10 years,” Col. Thom Pemberton, commander of the 434th ARW, said in a news release. “This time is a little different; they are removing concrete down to the dirt in many areas – which is something that has not been done since it was built in 1942.”
Grissom said the 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker wing in the Air Force Reserve Command. The unit has 16 aircraft, though some have been loaned to other units, and others are undergoing depot-level maintenance.
Only one aircraft will remain at Grissom as it is new to the fleet and being brought up to Grissom standards, the base said.
The runway repair project at Grissom is slated to be complete by late summer or early fall.