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Future KC-46 home prepares for winter with arrival of de-icing tanks

De-icing tanks arrive at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., Sept. 12, 2016, in preparation for the KC-46 Pegasus arrival. The tanks were driven from Los Angeles and dropped off at the McConnell flightline before the start of the winter season. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman David Bernal Del Agua)

De-icing tanks arrive at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., Sept. 12, 2016, in preparation for the KC-46 Pegasus arrival. The tanks were driven from Los Angeles and dropped off at the McConnell flightline before the start of the winter season. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman David Bernal Del Agua)

A de-icing tank is parked on the McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., flightline, Sept. 12, 2015, before being lowered to its final stop. The tanks will be able to accommodate both the KC-135 Stratotanker and the KC-46 Pegasus in order to keep the base aerial refueling mission going during freezing temperatures. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman David Bernal Del Agua)

A de-icing tank is parked on the McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., flightline, Sept. 12, 2015, before being lowered to its final stop. The tanks will be able to accommodate both the KC-135 Stratotanker and the KC-46 Pegasus in order to keep the base aerial refueling mission going during freezing temperatures. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman David Bernal Del Agua)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --

With the upcoming potential for freezing temperatures, the base welcomed the arrival of two de-icing tanks capable of supporting the KC-46 Pegausus, Sept. 12.

The 68-foot-long tanks were hauled from Los Angeles and will be put in the ground below the flightline to store de-icing fluid as well as the recycled run-off. The new additions are part of ongoing construction projects preparing for the arrival of the KC-46.

“The current de-icing pads are too small for the KC-46 due to required wing-tip clearance,” said 2nd Lt. Haley Renner, KC-46 Program and Integration Office chief of design and construction. “The project enlarges the pad size [concrete area] as well as the piping and tanks to accommodate two KC-46s.”

The finished product will allow both the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-46 to carry out the base’s aerial refueling mission even under less-than-perfect weather conditions, she said.

“The project needs to be completed by this year’s de-icing season, which could start as early as October,” said Renner. “The tanks need to get in the ground in order to hook up the new utilities and finish the concrete work. This is necessary in order for KC-135s to continue their current operations tempo if there are freezing conditions.”

Once the installation of the tanks is complete, the base will be one step closer to welcoming the KC-46 home.