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 is currently growing to 49 tails. The 22d 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. McConnell is the only base in the United States Air Force where all three force components fly and support the same aircraft.
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.
Friends of McConnell
The Friends of McConnell (FOM), an affiliate organization of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, is a support group of area business leaders and residents dedicated to providing meaningful social and economic linkage between senior military leaders and their metropolitan civilian counterparts. The FOM seeks to express community pride and appreciation of the area’s military by providing organizational and financial support for Commander directed programs on base. A primary goal of the Friends of McConnell is to make McConnell AFB the most desirable -assignment of an Airman’s career.
The Chamber allocates one staff person to serve as military liaison to interact on a close and frequent basis with area military leaders and installations. Having served McConnell AFB as an Honorary Commander since the program’s inception 15 years ago, Pat Gallagher received Golden Eagle recognition in 2009. Pat serves as secretary/treasurer to the Friends of McConnell and is an appointee to the Governor’s Military Council, a statewide organization that works to grow and preserve military presence in the state of Kansas. She also serves on The Air Mobility Command Civic Council at Scott AFB, Illinois.
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