Fairchild Air Force Base

Photo courtesy of the Washington Air Guard.

A military band that entertained Northwest troops heading off to the Korean War and played the dedication of Grand Coulee Dam will close their music books for good this weekend.

The military is deactivating the Spokane-based 560th Air Force Band, which made its last public appearance at a wind-swept ferry christening ceremony on the Columbia River last month.

Spokane’s Fairchild Air Force Base has lost out on a bid to be the first to house the Air Force's newest refueling tanker aircraft. 

While Spokane and Washington state leaders have spent the last few years touting Fairchild Air Force Base as the leading contender to take the first new Boeing KC 46A tanker planes, the Pentagon Wednesday decided that McConnell Air Force base in Wichita, Kansas is its choice. McConnell will receive the first batch of 36 planes in 2016. 

Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane is planning a public memorial service for three of its airmen killed in a mid-air explosion over central Asia.

The cause of the air refueling tanker accident last Friday remains under investigation, but the crash renews attention on a Boeing Company contract to replace the Air Force's aging tanker fleet.