by Senior Airman Tara Fadenrecht
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
11/18/2015 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Viewing
the legacy of the KC-135 Stratotanker and the future home of the KC-46
Pegasus, the Air Mobility Command commander, AMC command chief and 19
civic leaders from AMC wings across the country toured McConnell Air
Force Base, Kan., Nov. 16-18 to see the premier total force team in
"Visiting McConnell provided a first-hand look at where we are and where
we are going in regards to tanker recapitalization," said Gen. Carlton
Everhart, AMC commander. "I was privileged to showcase the Air Force's
first home to the KC-46 to our civic leaders in an effort to educate and
inform them on our nation's reliance on air mobility and the importance
of aerial refueling."
During the tour, attendees enhanced their knowledge of the base's
current and future aerial refueling capacity and capabilities. Events
included breakfast with McConnell Airmen and an inside look at what goes
into maintaining a KC-135. Everhart and his civic leaders also took a
flight on a KC-135 to watch an aerial refueling and later operated a
KC-46 simulator. The group also heard success stories related to
leveraging resources with total force partners, the 931st Air Refueling
Group and 184th Intelligence Wing.
The civic leader program establishes positive relationships between Air
Force leaders and leaders within the civilian community in order to
maximize opportunities to share the Air Force story, people and
mission. Inviting AMC civic leaders to tour McConnell was just one way
to increase public awareness of Air Force missions, policies and
"This has been a wonderful event, and I think we're very fortunate
because we do have this new mission to show, and that's energizing and
exciting," said Pat Gallagher, Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce
government relations manager and 22nd Air Refueling Wing civic leader.
"The [other] civic leaders that I have spoken with have been so
impressed with McConnell and what's going on here."
Team McConnell welcomed the opportunity to showcase what makes the base
the tanker center for excellence. The 22nd ARW manages to lead 42
percent of AMC refueling missions with only 14 percent of the Air
Force's KC-135 fleet and was recently awarded the Meritorious Unit Award
for the seventh straight year.
"Thanks to all who put in the hard work and time to make this a
successful visit and highlight the work done with the 60-year old KC-135
and the bed down of the KC-46, which will be the future in aerial
refueling.," said Col. Albert Miller, 22nd ARW commander. "Conversations
with strategic advocates provide us the opportunity to showcase not
only the machines that make the mission happen, but the dedication and
hard work of our Airmen."