AMC Leadership visits, awards McConnell
By Senior Airman Alan Ricker, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 19, 2019
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
This week, Gen. Maryanne Miller, Air Mobility Command commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Terrence Greene, AMC command chief, visited the refueling installation to meet the Airmen of team McConnell, and also to present the 349th Air Refueling Squadron with the 2018 Gen. Spaatz Trophy and the 2018 SMSgt Albert Evans Outstanding Air Refueling Section Award.
“It is an absolute honor to be able to present such a prestigious award to the hardworking Airmen of the 349th Air Refueling Squadron,” said Miller. “The presentation allows me the opportunity to personally thank each member of the 349th ARS Bandits for their dedication and sacrifices, which earned them the return rights in bringing this trophy back to McConnell. As a six-time recipient of the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz trophy, this achievement signifies the tireless contributions and commitment to excellence from the hardworking men and women of the 349th Bandits.”
The 349th ARS has been named the best refueling unit in the Air Force for five years, earning it in 2008, 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2017. In 2018, the squadron fulfilled seven specified areas and was able to outshine the other 55 refueling squadrons across the Air Force for a sixth win. This was also the first time the squadron has earned the 2018 SMSgt Albert Evans Outstanding Air Refueling Section Award, which is given to the top boom operator section in the Air Force.
For the Spaatz Trophy, the team completed tasks within the categories of the mission, aircrew upgrading and training, base and community relations, aircrew enhancement and retention, outstanding individual and crew accomplishments, military and civilian education, and safety record.
“As a squadron, we understand this was a team effort,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Schone, 349th ARS commander. “The 349th would not be able refuel the fight and sustain excellence without the support and cooperation of each and every unit in the 22nd ARW.”
In addition to congratulating the 349th ARS, Miller visited the squadrons that support refueling operations on a daily basis.
“McConnell Airmen are such an important piece of our AMC mission and global operations,” said Miller. “With the introduction of the new KC-46A, McConnell Airmen are at the forefront of modernizing our tanker fleet and operational capabilities.”
During the visit, Team McConnell showcased multiple support and operational missions. Highlights included a hands-on medical demonstration, a bird’s eye view of the airfield from the new air traffic control tower and insight on the first KC-46A Pegasus mission planning cell. McConnell also showed off the Air Force’s newest refueling asset and toured a KC-135 Stratotanker, which has been providing fuel and supporting AMC’s mission for more than 60 years.
“Without you, we can’t build that air bridge to get our wingmen home,” said Miller. “Without you, we can’t reach every point of this globe. You are the power behind equipping our forces to compete, deter and win. Everything I have seen and all the people I have met here are the reason AMC is as strong as it is.”
Miller and Greene also met with several members to recognize star performers and encouraged leadership to connect with the Airmen.
“It’s important to engage Airmen in meaningful conversation and highlight the value of their commitment and sacrifice,” said Miller. “There is nothing more important than ensuring our Airmen are cared for and motivated to push themselves. Exceeding a personal or professional standard can, in turn, come with great rewards, such as the 349th Air Refueling Squadron’s ability to secure the 2018 Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Trophy.”