SPOKANE (AP) — Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane has been assigned an additional dozen air refueling tanker planes.

The Air Force said Monday it will move 12 of its older KC-135 tankers to Fairchild to make room for the new KC-46A tankers elsewhere.

That will bring the size of Fairchild's tanker fleet to 56, making it one of the biggest air-refueling facilities in the country.

Fairchild had been in the running for the new tankers twice, and lost out both times.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington called the decision very good news. She says this decision will mean more planes, personnel and funding for Fairchild. Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers also pushed for the planes.

Fairchild is the largest single employer in the Spokane region.

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