WASHINGTON, D.C – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today reacted with strong disappointment in the Air Force announcement that Beale Air Force Base in California is the preferred alternative basing option for the MC-12W. Altus AFB was one of six candidate bases under consideration.
“I am surprised and extremely disappointed in the Air Force’s decision on this,” Inhofe said. “I visit Altus on a regular basis, and it is a national treasure that is the perfect location to base the MC-12W. With three runways, ramp space, training airspace and ranges, and available operations, simulator, and maintenance facilities, Altus Air Force Base is ready now for the MC-12W operations. If the evaluation process was indeed objective, I find it very hard to believe that Altus did not come out on top.
“This afternoon, I personally spoke with General Schwartz and asked for additional details on how the decision was made. I expect the Air Force to provide information on the evaluation process that includes operations and military construction cost considerations, range availability, airspace availability and restrictions, airfield operations tempo, and availability and location of planned joint training locations. I respect General Schwartz and value his leadership. However, until I fully understand how this decision was made, I respectfully disagree.”
The MC-12W is a medium- to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support directly to ground forces. The MC-12W capability supports all aspects of the world-wide Air Force Irregular Warfare mission including counter insurgency, foreign internal defense, and building partnership capacity.