Unparalleled support at McConnell

  • Published
  • By Col. Ricky Rupp
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Commander
Charlotte, Colton, Madison and I thank you for a very warm welcome to the 22ndAir Refueling Wing, Wichita and the surrounding communities.

It's great to be back at McConnell! In 1971, my father was commissioned as a second lieutenant, and his first duty assignment was McConnell. I lived on base as a child and attended Wineteer Elementary School. Over the next 40 years, I moved dozens of times as a dependent, and later as an Airman.

The communities surrounding our Air Force bases are tremendous, and McConnell is no exception. We enjoy unparalleled support from the Wichita and the surrounding communities, as well as our Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve partners.

The 22nd Air Refueling Wing provides flexible deterrent options to our nation's leaders in the form of a robust strategic air refueling capability. This is the largest air refueling wing in the Air Force and your reputation as the finest air refueling wing in the Air Force is widely known. This past year you delivered 44 percent of the nations air refueling capability to the war fighter -- a very impressive accomplishment!

Air refueling is a force multiplier, it allows commanders to employ limited resources in a more efficient manner-- and what you do everyday to deliver that capability matters!

Regardless of where you work in the wing, you contribute to the successful accomplishment of our mission. You are very busy--McConnell has more than 500 Airmen deployed around the world---and I am already very impressed with your professionalism and the quality of your work.

We cannot accomplish what we do without the support of our families. The spouse's and families at McConnell are an amazing team----Charlotte and I thank you for your service and support! What you do each and every day is essential to our mission success.

I look forward to getting to know all of you and building on the successes you have already achieved. This community has a well-earned reputation of patriotism and tremendous support for the military, and these bonds are vital to the continued success of the 22nd ARW. Charlotte and I are excited to be here and look forward to the many adventures in the years ahead.