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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 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.

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 is chaired by Wayne Roberts and consists of representatives of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, the City of Wichita, the City of Derby, Sedgwick County, and Spirit AeroSystems.

Joint Military Affairs Committee

The Wichita Independent Business Association and the Wichita Metro Chamber have formed a Joint Military Affairs Committee. The committee is dedicated to maintaining and continually improving the cooperative relationship between the business community and local military leaders. Wayne Roberts, a member of both organizations and the current chairman of the Chamber's Tanker Task Force, will serve as chairman of the committee.

Articles and News Releases

Section Highlights:
  • Stay informed on issues in Topeka during the legislative session via the weekly electronic Legislative Update, The Advocate.
  • Chamber promotes a business friendly environment for our members.
  • See the 2014 State Legislative Scorecard on the Bill Tracking page.
Barby Jobe
VP - Government Relations
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