by Tyler Grimes
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
11/24/2014 - MCCONNEL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- McConnell
Air Force Base's community partners toured the ongoing base
construction, Nov. 18, 2014 for the arrival of the KC-46A Pegasus.
The civic leaders got an up-close look at various construction areas
throughout the base, including the new regional maintenance training
facility that will be used to train all KC-46A maintainers in the
"What a great way to educate and enthuse the civilian sector about the
KC-46 project and mission," said Pat Gallagher, Wichita Metro Chamber of
Commerce government relations manager. "Seeing the ongoing KC- 46
construction currently taking place on base made me stop and think 'Team
McConnell has a global mission that is not missing a beat amidst all
that planning, demolition and construction.'"
The tour group consisted of a small number of key civic leaders who are
actively involved in McConnell's Honorary Commander program.
Another notable tour stop was the construction of the new flying
squadron buildings, which will fully integrate both active-duty Airmen
and Reservists under one roof.
"The integration of active-duty Airmen, Reservists and Guardsmen is an
Air Force-wide initiative," said 1st Lt. Daniel Calvario, KC-46 Program
Integration Office lead civil engineer. "These Airmen are being
integrated in order to meet all of the KC-46 mission requirements."
Calvario also showed the group the development on the three new hangars:
a single-bay maintenance hangar, a double-bay corrosion hangar and a
triple-bay general purpose hanger.
The KC-46A is approximately 20 feet longer, 30 feet wider and 10 feet
taller than the KC-135 Stratotanker, Calvario said, none of the current
hangars are large enough to handle the new incoming aircraft.
The last part of the tour was the construction site of the new dormitory
for the enlisted Airmen that will work in the KC-46A program.
While the tour showcased the total force integration effort needed for
the construction project, Col. Joel Jackson, 22nd Air Refueling Wing
commander, emphasized the role of McConnell's community partners.
"It's important to keep our civic leaders informed of the status of this
project as much of its continued success depends on the support of the
local community," Jackson said. "They are the ones who will see the
project through to its completion."