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National guard tankers returning to Key Field

MERIDIAN — The Air National Guard at Key Field is receiving two KC-135 tankers in July.

The arrival of the tankers means the Guard unit is going back to an air refueling mission.

The KC-135’s left Key Field in March of 2011. The base received C-27 planes as it changed to an airlift mission.

Col. Franklin Chalk, the wing commander, tells WTOK-TV in Meridian more planes will arrive later. He says the transition will take place in stages over the next several months.

The 186th Air Refueling Wing says employment at Key Field will remain at around 1,100 people. That’s about the same number being used for the airlift mission now.

Chalk says a special ceremony is being planned for July when the two KC-135’s arrive at Key Field.

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