We posted on Monday about Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's efforts to save Kansas taxpapers $1.1 million by allowing the Air Force to retire unused tankers at Forbes Field. We have more today from a piece from the Topeka Capital-Journal.
The aircraft have been parked on the ramp at Topeka's Forbes Field since last fall as the Kansas Air National Guard moves toward using only new versions of the tankers, KC-135Rs. Ground crews have been keeping the old planes, KC-135Es, in a federally mandated "warm ready" state in case of emergency, even though the Kansas Guard has no one certified to fly them.Congresswoman Boyda has worked since she was elected to do what's right for her district, and this is another example of her hearing the needs from people on the ground and creating legislation to help. Not only do Boyda's efforts free up space at Forbes Field, retiring planes no one can fly, she also saves us $1.1 million in Topeka alone.
The 190th Air Refueling Wing based at Forbes flies 12 of the newer KC-135s, making space limited for operations, said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, adjutant general for Kansas.
"We want to keep it as open as possible," said Bunting, who approached Rep. Nancy Boyda about accelerating the retirement of tankers.
Boyda, a Democrat representing Kansas' 2nd District, said the decision to keep obsolete tankers made no sense and was wasting resources.
"It has a nationwide impact," Boyda said. "It's time to put them to bed. They've had a very good life."[...]
Bunting and Boyda said clearing space at Forbes would create more room for current operations or to bring another air mission to Kansas, such as an airlift wing flying cargo planes.