The United States Air Force asked the public for its opinion on a major decision to bring a new fleet of refueling tankers to McConnell. It is one of the last steps to landing the airplanes at the Air Force Base. A meeting was held Tuesday night at Wichita's metro-plex.

During that meeting, support spread across the room. People who live around McConnell shared their happiness about more than 100 new tankers coming to the Air Force Base.

The comments were exactly what military leaders expected. "All positive. Like the scoping meeting we had in the spring, there were no negative comments," said tanker task force chairman Wayne Roberts.

In the process of doing an environmental study, the Air Force wondered if people living in Derby worried about noise from the tankers. Derby City Manager Kathy Sexton says sounds from the tankers that have been flying in and out of McConnell for years have never been an issue. "I have more noise complaints from railroads, from the trains, than I do from the KC-135's out there. I think people understand that it is a part of life here in the Wichita area," said Sexton.

It is a part of life that in this case will provide jobs as more than $219M in infrastructure is built. The contract calls for six additional hangers to hold nearly 180 planes. "That trickle down affect to the community will be huge," said Roberts.

If all goes as planned, the project will be finalized summer 2014. "The first planes start arriving in 2016 and we get 36 planes. At that time, 36 of the KC-135's will be retired," said Roberts.

At that time, a new fleet will take flight out of McConnell and the pride will continue for people who work there and live nearby. "As much as we are all sometimes frustrated with government, we also understand that a core function of government is keeping us safe. McConnell is all about keeping us safe," said Sexton.

The contract was supposed to be final by March 2014, but the government shutdown delayed it. Air Force leaders say a lot of prep work has already started.

The new KC-46A Beddown tankers will refuel planes from fighter jets all the way up to Air Force One. They will also do medical evacuations and humanitarian food drop-offs during emergencies around the world.