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Originally published Monday, May 13, 2013 at 9:05 AM

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Big decisions involving Fairchild AFB

Some big decisions that could help decide the future of Spokane's Fairchild Air Force Base are expected in coming weeks.

Associated Press

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AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. —

Some big decisions that could help decide the future of Spokane's Fairchild Air Force Base are expected in coming weeks.

The Air Force this week is expected to decide if Fairchild will serve as a base for the next generation of air refueling tankers.

And the Bureau of Indian Affairs is expected to decide soon whether a big Indian casino can be built just a short distance from the base, a development that opponents fear could eventually prompt the Air Force to close Fairchild.

Fairchild is the Spokane area's single largest employer, with 5,800 workers and an economic impact of $1.3 billion per year. The base is also integral to the 17,000 military retirees in the Spokane area.

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