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Military Presence

McConnell Air Force Base

Wichita is home to McConnell Air Force Base and the 22d Air Refueling Wing (ARW). The Wing’s mission is to conduct air refueling and airlift operations supporting national objectives in any part of the world, in any condition or climate. Our mission also includes support for the Department of Defense in many contingency situations, from strategic force projection and strategic mobility, to humanitarian assistance.

The 22d ARW flies the KC-135 Stratotanker. The largest KC-135 Stratotanker base in the world, McConnell’s fleet flies air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and airlift missions worldwide. Its Airmen serve globally; many are taking part in current operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

McConnell’s missions are accomplished alongside the 931st Air Refueling Group of the Air Force Reserve and the 184th Intelligence Wing of the Kansas Air National Guard.

Economic Impact

Employment - Active Duty 3,066
Total Employment - Active Duty, Guard, Reserve & Civilians 7,153
Economic Impact $619.1 M

 Source: McConnell AFB (September 2012)

Honorary Commander Program

The Honorary Program is designed to provide an interactive learning experience that increases public awareness and understanding of the armed forces; the mission, policies and programs of the AF by affording influential civilians the opportunity to get an up-close and personal look at MAFB and the USAF. The program has two levels of participation. The first level is Honorary Commanders: civic leaders who are paired with a McConnell AFB commander and invited to participate in a variety of activities held on base. The second level, Golden Eagle, is the graduate level of the Honorary Commander program. This program recognizes non-military citizens of the area whose character, personal dedication and outstanding support exemplify the standards to which the 22d Air Refueling Wing warrior spirit strives.

The Friends of McConnell (FOM) is a select group of area individuals and business leaders dedicated to providing a meaningful social and economic linkage between senior military leaders and their metropolitan civilian counterparts. The group maintains a Facebook page.

The Friends of McConnell expresses community pride and appreciation of area military by providing organizational and financial support for Commander directed programs and strives to make McConnell the most appreciated assignment in a McConnell airman’s or officer’s career.

Chamber Tanker Task Force

This temporary task force was formed in 2012 to accomplish one goal: to secure the selection of McConnell Air Force Base as the Main Operating Base for the KC-46A. The Task Force was chaired by Wayne Roberts and consisted of representatives of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, the City of Wichita, the City of Derby, Sedgwick County, and Spirit AeroSystems.

Boeing is scheduled to deliver 18 of the tankers to the U.S. Air Force in August 2016. Eventually the fleet will consist of 36 tankers that are based out of McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita.

Section Highlights:
  •  The Chamber promotes a business friendly environment for our members.
  • See the 2015 State Legislative Scorecard on the Bill Tracking page.


Barby Jobe
VP - Government Relations
Aeroflex Wichita, Inc. AetnaAirbus North America Engineering, Inc. Armstrong Chamberlin AT&T Berry Companies, Inc. BKD, LLPBuilding Trades Council of Central & Western Kansas Butler Community College Capital Enterprises, Inc. Carlos O'Kelly'sCNH Industries Clear Channel Media + EntertainmentConco ConstructionCornejo & Sons Cox Machine, Inc. Davis-Moore Automotive, Inc. Delta Dental of Kansas, Inc. Dillon Food Stores Dondlinger & Sons Construction Company Inc.Eby Construction Co. Envision, Inc. Friends University GLMV Architecture, Inc. Golden Plains Credit UnionHouse of SchwanHigh Touch Technologies Hyatt Regency Wichita IBEW L.U. 271 - Electrical Workers IMA, Inc. Johnson ControlsKAKE-TV Kansas Health Foundation KSNW-Channel 3 Law Company Inc. LDF CompaniesLegacy BankL K ArchitectureLubrication Engineers, Inc. Martin Pringle Oliver Wallace & Bauer, L.L.P. Metro Courier, Inc. MKEC Engineering Consultants, Inc. Murfin Drilling Company Inc. Newman University Occidental Management, Inc. Pioneer Balloon Company Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 441 Poet Ethanol Products Range Oil Company, Inc. Ritchie Exploration, Inc. Rusty Eck Ford Security 1st Title LLC Slawson Real Estate Company Star Lumber & Supply Co. Inc.TCK - The Trust Company of Kansas TECT Aerospace UCI United Way of the Plains Value PlaceVisit WichitaWichita Area Assn. of Realtors Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) Wichita Business Journal Wichita Community Foundation Wichita Downtown Development Corporation Wichita State UniversityWorkforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, Inc.Yingling Aviation