Air Force Featured Stories

SecAF visits McConnell AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Willis, Airman Brenden Beezley
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall visited the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, 931st ARW and 184th Air National Guard Wing at McConnell Air Force Base to get an up-close visual of air-refueling aircraft and missions with a focus on service modernization April 3-4. 

While touring various organizations, Kendall experienced McConnell AFB’s direct impact on Air Mobility Command and the advancements in aerial refueling. He first toured a KC-135 Stratotanker to get an understanding of the older airframe before touring and flying aboard a KC-46A Pegasus. 

During the tours, Kendall saw first-hand how McConnell AFB Airmen have led the effort to move the KC-46A Pegasus towards becoming fully mission capable and the conversion of the next generation of air dominance. 

“Air refueling is vital to our Nation’s ability to project power, and Team McConnell’s 22nd and 931st ARWs are key to that mission,” Kendall said. “McConnell represents the long history of air refueling with KC-135s approaching 60 years old on one portion of the ramp, while their counterparts a short distance away are driving towards the future by bringing the KC-46’s much newer capabilities into the operational fleet.”

 

After touring aircraft, Kendall sat down with 15 Airmen to recognize them for their superior performance and dedication to continuing the mission during a luncheon April 4. Airmen engaged with Secretary Kendall on issues such as modernization, innovation, training, sexual assault prevention and response, stress management and healthcare. 

“The interactions with McConnell (AFB) Airmen left me with two overarching thoughts: first, the drive and skills of U.S. Air Force Airmen are second-to-none; and second, that job number one for those of us in the Pentagon is advocating for the resources our Airmen need to win,” Kendall said. 

“Events like the listening luncheon are an incredible opportunity for our Airmen to grow their strategic understanding of the Secretary’s intent, our ‘one team, one fight’ mantra, and the importance of their individual efforts in making that happen,” said Col. Nate Vogel, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “Now it’s up to each of us, both individually and collectively, to take the Secretary’s vision and make it happen each and every day, both on the ground and at altitude.”