Little Rock AFB civic leaders visit McConnell

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Bernal Del Agua
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing
Twenty civic leaders from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, visited McConnell July 26-27 to learn more about the base’s intelligence and air refueling missions.

The tour included mission briefings from three wing commanders, information on the upcoming KC-46 Pegasus, as well as a tour of a KC-135 Stratotanker.

“I enjoyed learning about all the different career fields,” said Gina Radke, 19th Maintenance Group honorary commander. “Sometimes as civilians when we think Air Force we think ‘oh you’re going to be a pilot’ and that’s it. To learn that you absolutely need every single career field to make the mission work was a great experience.”

The intent of a civic leader program is to educate and increase the knowledge and understanding of key civic leaders about the Air Force and the installation.

“The communities surrounding McConnell have an amazing relationship with the base, and we cherish any opportunity to showcase that to visiting civic leaders for them to understand how they can have a close relationship with their military partners,” said Col. Eric Vitosh, 931st Air Refueling Wing commander. “The civic leaders from Little Rock learned about our mission and how it helps theirs. We look forward to more opportunities to work with them to improve both of our communities and provide support to one another.”

Civilian participants are selected from among non-federally elected or appointed officials, mayors, chamber of commerce members, principals of local schools, Military Affairs Committee members and others who, because of their position or influence in the community, can positively impact public support for the base.

“By opening up your base to us, we go home and we tell everyone about the Air Force’s mission and that helps us become recruiters for the Air Force as well,” said Radke.