MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
Team McConnell Airmen heard first-hand about the 22nd Air Refueling Wing’s path, pace and goals during a Nov. 4 Commander’s Call, hosted by Col. Nate Vogel, 22nd ARW commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Melissa Royster, 22 ARW command chief.
This was the first of three Commander’s Calls for the wing, split by groups to balance mission commitments.
After a video and introduction, the Command Team dove deep into explaining the Wing’s new Mission statement, Vision and Mindset, as well as Lines of Effort. That started with discussing the new mission statement of “Air Refueling – execute today, shape tomorrow” which drives the efforts of the wing, and subsequently helping to shape the Vision, Mindset and Lines of Effort.
“Our Vision is: One team, ready to provide air refueling anytime, anywhere,” said Colonel Vogel. “That is where we are going as a Wing – one team, no seams. We are one team, where we can provide aerial refueling anytime, anywhere. There is someone, somewhere, waiting on us to be there, to give them fuel, and we will be there.”
As part of the new mission statement and vision, a new set of five Lines of Effort have been established. Each Line of Effort has multiple goals of smaller efforts that align to the larger picture. As some goals get completed, others are added, keeping the Lines of Effort a living document focused on continual improvement.
“It all boils down to one word for each Line of Effort: Airmen, installation, mission, community and families,” said Colonel Vogel.
To increase the understanding of why McConnell is adjusting its focus and path, the Commander’s call then shifted to explaining the ‘why’ and ‘how’ with an unclassified briefing addressing great power competition, followed by an Agile Combat Employment presentation.
Agile Combat Employment – aka ACE – is a term which is rapidly becoming a part of Team McConnell’s vocabulary. ACE shifts the operational focus from using traditional overseas bases as hubs for projecting combat power toward using a host of smaller, dispersed forward locations. Doing so provides more options to joint commanders and complicating an adversary’s ability to counter. Events such as the wing’s recent KC-46 Dual Defuel milestone are just a small part of the larger ACE concept, which requires innovation, dedication and creative thinking.
“It’s important for us to have these type of briefings, so you understand why we do what we do, why we are moving at the pace we are, and understand how you fit into the bigger picture,” said Chief Royster.
The commander’s call also leveraged technology to gain feedback from the audience, utilizing an App to allow audience members to submit questions while in attendance. Topics of discussion included leveraging resources, types of exercises, KC-46 taskings, and COVID, and were answered candidly by command leadership.
In conclusion, the commander noted the air refueling mission, the KC-46, as well as the great local communities and their support overall make McConnell an excellent place to work and call home.
“This is a great place to be and it’s great to be here with you,” said Col. Vogel. “I fought hard to come to McConnell, because I knew how great this place was. I knew I would work with one of the Air Force’s newest weapon systems and I knew I would work with some quality Airmen, and it has not disappointed me one bit.”