Military News

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

McConnell showcases mission to AMC commander, civic leaders

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 action.

"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 programs.

"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."

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