What makes McConnell special

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing command chief
Maybe it's the fact that we're the largest tanker wing on the planet, or that we've got the only tankers that can receive, as well as pass, fuel.

Perhaps it's the unique special operations refueling mission that only we can do. Then again, it could be our pilots, boom operators, crew chiefs and other Airmen that fly these aircraft, or the amazing maintainers we have that keep those aging KC-135 Stratotankers flying. That certainly includes our fuel cell and aerospace ground equipment shops - both areas that were lauded recently by a visiting general officer. Our AGE facility is kept so clean you could eat off the floor!

What makes McConnell so special?

Maybe it's our communicators who boast the number one compliance rate for network security in Air Mobility Command, or it could be our medical group folks who are number one in our command in numerous categories to include dental readiness, childhood immunizations, anthrax management and flu vaccinations.

It could easily be our civil engineers who executed an unbelievable $72 million dollars in services, construction and facility support last year alone; that's many times over what they are resourced to manage, but somehow they were able to get it done.

What makes McConnell so special?

It could be our Total Force partners. Our association with the 931st Air Refueling Group simply makes McConnell better. They lead their peers in the Air Reserve Command in countless metrics, demonstrating their professionalism and commitment to excellence. Bottom line--we could not meet our mission requirements without the 931st ARG.

We also have great partners in our Air National Guard friends. The 184th Intelligence Wing has a unique and high-demand skill set. Their local day-to-day operations have a very real impact on the warfighter. Combatant commanders depend on their expertise every day.

There's another key factor that makes an impact here at McConnell -- our unparalleled community support. Whether it's our Golden Eagles, the honorary commanders, the Friends of McConnell or other civic leaders, we are blessed with unselfish teammates that contribute to our base in a multitude of ways that are sometimes visible but many times behind-the-scenes.

In my 21 years of service, I've never been stationed at a base that can boast such consistent and heartfelt community support.

What makes McConnell so special?

Even some of our physical structures and buildings are special, such as the Robert J. Community Dole Center. I challenge you to find another Air Force facility that houses so many functions and services in one place.

The Krueger Recreation Area, though a "work in progress," already hosts a fully stocked pond, paintball course and miles of meandering jogging trails.

One of my favorite features, however, is McConnell's Memorial Walk, dedicated to men and women who have graced McConnell during their lives. What an awesome tribute this physical reminder serves to our Airmen.

What makes McConnell so special?

I'm sure you already know where I'm headed -- it's all of the above, but it's truly the people that make McConnell special.

Everywhere you go on this base you find motivated professionals, from the front gate to the flight line, from our lodging front desk to our first-class fire department, from our Health and Wellness Center to our command post, from our pharmacy to our Airman Leadership School classrooms. The list goes on.

I am proud to have had an opportunity to be even a small part of this great team. Keep up the mission focus, the team pride, camaraderie, and the hunger to make Team McConnell even better!