WASHINGTON – Today the Air Force announced Beale Air Force Base, Calif. as the preferred alternative basing option for the MC-12.
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley previously approved six candidate bases. They included Altus AFB, Okla.; Beale AFB, Calif.; Key Field Air National Guard Base, Miss.; Langley AFB, Va.; Robins AFB, Ga.; and Whiteman AFB, Mo.
Site survey teams evaluated all candidate bases for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability. As a result of these surveys, the range of reasonable alternatives was reduced to three bases: Beale, Robins, and Whiteman.
“Beale Air Force Base is the preferred alternative for basing the MC-12W aircraft given its access to training opportunities, synergy with existing Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance flying missions, and collocation with the Distributed Ground Station mission,” said Ms. Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary for installations.
A preferred alternative is an alternative which the Air Force believes best fulfills its mission and responsibilities, taking into consideration environmental, operational, technical and other factors.
This is not a final basing decision. The preferred alternative, with other reasonable alternatives, will continue to be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Analysis Process
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.