McConnell Air Force Base is located approximately four miles from downtown Wichita, Kansas. Air Mobility Command’s 22nd Air Refueling Wing is the host unit at this Air Force base, which trains air crews in tanker operations and flies real-world air refueling missions around the globe.
Find information about McConnell AFB, Kansas including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and inprocessing.
Mission & Units
The host unit at McConnell AFB is the 22nd Air Refueling Wing and falls under Air Mobility Command. The primary mission of the 22nd is to provide air refueling operations anywhere in the world to support a wide range of missions and objectives including humanitarian missions and contingency operations. Without air refueling support, many missions would operate quite differently and likely in a more limited way; the mission at McConnell AFB is a critical part of modern United States military operations.
Important units at McConnell AFB include
- 184th Intelligence Wing
- 22 Maintenance Group
- 22ND Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
- 22ND Civil Engineering Squadron
- 22ND Communications Squadron
- 22ND Medical Group
- 22ND Security Forces Squadron
- 22ND Air Refueling Wing
- 22ND Contracting Squadron
- 22ND Force Support Squadron
- 22ND Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 22ND Maintenance Operations Squadron
- 22ND Maintenance Squadron
- 22ND Medical Operations Squadron
- 22ND Medical Support Squadron
- 22ND Mission Support Group
- 22ND Operation Group
- 22ND Operation Support Squadron
- 344 Air Refueling Squadron
- 349 Air Refueling Squadron
- 350 Air Refueling Squadron
- 373 TRS / Det 8
- 384 Air Refueling Squadron
- 931st Air Refueling Group
Some Air Force bases have their roots in Army installations, but McConnell AFB is unique in that its’ earliest origins have more to do with a municipal airport; in 1924 the city of Wichita, Kansas held something called the National Air Congress.
That event was used as a fundraiser to help break ground on Wichita Municipal Airport. Several years after the airport was built, the Kansas National Guard 127th Observation Squadron was the first military unit to begin operations from the airport. That started in 1941, and it wasn’t long before World War Two requirements brought many Guard units including the 127th to “extended active duty”.
1942 brought an agreement between the federal government and Wichita officials to establish the Army Air Forces Materiel Center, Midwest Procurement District. Part of the mission there would be to accept, maintain, and transfer the then-new B-29 Superfortress. But in 1946 when the war was over, the operation was closed and the municipal airport there was in civilian control until 1951.
The Cold War brought aircraft production of the B-47 Stratojet to Wichita, and 1951 saw the Department of Defense given ownership of the airport; Air Training Command set up operations there with the 3520th Combat Crew Training Wing mission among the very first to start work at the facility.
Wichita Municipal Airport was renamed as Wichita Air Force Base in 1953, but the name was switched to honor Wichita brothers Fred and Thomas McConnell. Both men were pilots in the United States Air Force, and both died in aviation-related accidents.
B-47 training operations at McConnell were not the only missions; in the 1960s like other Air Force Bases, missile defense operations began in response to the Cold War. From 1962 to 1987, ballistic missile operations there were an important part of the nation’s nuclear deterrence policy.
Later, air refueling and strategic bomber operations became crucial missions at the base. From 1971, refueling, bomber operations, flying training, and eventually tactical jet fighter operations would all find a home at McConnell Air Force Base with varying degrees of longevity depending on mission requirements, decisions of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) and other factors.
In modern day operations, the McConnell fighter jet and air refueling operations would be key parts of operations in the Gulf, Operation Noble Eagle, and Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2014, the Air Force announced McConnell AFB would be the home of the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus air refueler / tanker aircraft. The original delivery date was not met, but McConnell did receive a total of four KC-46 tankers as of 2019
Main Address And Phone Number
52802 Kansas Street
McConnell AFB, KS 67221-3606
- DSN 312-743-6100
Important Contact Numbers
- Emergency – 911
- Base Operator – (316) 759-6100
- Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1800 273-8255
- Dorm Management Office – (316) 759-4611
- Dental Clinic – (316) 759-5181
- Medical Appointments – (316) 759-6300
- Housing Office – (316) 759-3910
- ID Cards – (316) 759-5332
- Information and Referral Services – (316) 759-6020
- Legal Services and JAG – (316) 759-3590
- VA Facilities – (316) 685-2221
- Welcome/Visitors Center – (316) 759-1743
- School Liaison Office – (316) 759-6020
- Loan Closet – (316) 759-3740
- Welcome/Visitors Center – (316) 759-1743
- Child Development Center – (316) 759-4223
- School Age Services – (316) 759-6859
- Youth Programs – (316) 759-4070
- Barracks/Single Service Member Housing – (316) 759-4611
- Military Personnel Flight – (316) 759-3737
- Airman and Family Readiness Center – EFMP Family Support – (316) 759-3182
- Airman and Family Readiness Center – (316) 759-6020
- SNAIC – EFMP Enrollment – (316) 759-5106
- Civilian Personnel Office – (316) 759-4353
- Family Child Care Coordinator – (316) 759-5783
- Family Advocacy – (316) 759-5768
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Office – (316) 759-3048
- Housing Office – (316) 759-3910
- Temporary Lodging/Billeting – (316) 612-6999
- Military Personnel Flight – (316) 759-3737
Wichita is one of the largest cities in Kansas and the surrounding area has much in terms of culture including the Frank Lloyd Wright Allen house, the Wichita Art Museum, and the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center. Sedgwick County Zoo, the Kansas Aviation Museum, and the Kansas Sports Hall Of Fame are all popular destinations in the area.
Wichita itself is approximately three hours from Kansas City; the drive there will take you past Topeka, Kansas and Lawrenceville, Kansas, which has the distinction of being the final home of legendary Beat writer William S. Burroughs.
Inprocessing and Check-In
In-processing procedures at McConnell AFB may vary depending on the policies of the gaining unit. New arrivals are directed to sign in with their gaining unit on the first duty upon arrival. PCSing military members will be required to sign up for a Right Start briefing, and in-processing will include a visit to the Finance office to complete travel vouchers no later than the fifth duty day after arrival or at the end of the Right Start briefing, whichever comes first.
New arrivals are allowed to go on Permissive TDY for house hunting purposes.
Inpatient and emergency care services are not available at McConnell AFB, but other medical treatment options are offered by the 22nd Medical Group in a state-of-the-art facility with an Acute Care clinic, plus ambulatory or same-day care surgery. This facility is not a 24-hour operation. It closes at 4:30 during regular duty days and is closed for weekends and holidays.
Services offered include:
- Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
- Family Health
- Flight Medicine
- Medical Management
- Mental Health
- Optometry (Active Duty only)
- Patient Administration
- Physical Therapy (Active Duty only)
- Public Health
Appointments can be made via TRICARE online or by calling 316-759-6300.
Child care at McConnell AFB is provided by the Child Development Center (CDC), which offers a variety of care options for children six weeks through five years. Hourly child-care is provided as space permits.
Waiting lists may apply for care, call 316-759-4223 for more information. The McConnell CDC participates in the Kansas Department of Education Child and Adult Care Food program, which means all children receiving CDC care will get meals during their stay.
There is also the option of getting care from an on-base Family Child Care provider (FCC). FCC care is offered in homes that have been certified by the military; FCC care is open for children up to 12 years old. Call 316-759-5783 for more information on this alternative to CDC care.
All personnel are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments to McConnell AFB through the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also call the TMO office for further assistance at (316) 759-5915.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
All ID card services at McConnell AFB should be scheduled online via the RAPIDS system; you can also call (316) 759-5332 for assistance or further information. Walk-in appointments are discouraged and there may be long wait times based on volume of appointments, mission requirements, etc.
All ID card services should be scheduled as one appointment per ID card. If you need multiple ID card requests filled, scheduled multiple back-to-back appointments. There is an exception for dependent ID cards-schedule one appointment for every two dependent ID card needs.
All ID card services require two forms of unexpired ID and you may be required to furnish alternate ID in some cases
Military families living on-base will send their school-age children to schools in Derby Unified School District (USD) 260. Wineteer Elementary School is close to McConnell base housing. Students in grades 6-12 residing in base housing will attend Derby North Middle and Derby High. Bus service is provided. Contact the McConnell AFB School Liaison at (316) 759-3326.
Off-base school options will depend on where the family resides. There are many school districts in the area including:
- Andover-USD 385
- Derby-USD 260
- Haysville-USD 261
- Maize-USD 266
- Mulvane-USD 263
- Rose Hill-USD 394
- Wichita-USD 259
- Goddard-USD 265
Immunization requirements may vary from school district to school district. In general, Kansas law requires children to be five years old as September 1st to enter Kindergarten. Children must be six years old to enter First Grade. The State Of Kansas requires Individual Education Plans for all students who need placement in special needs or advanced classes.
On-base housing at McConnell AFB is privatized and operated by Corvias Military Living. Military families are assigned housing at McConnell by rank and size of the required home. If you have PCS orders it is best to apply for housing as soon as the orders become available. A waiting list will apply and availability is not guaranteed on arrival even if you are on the waiting list.
The McConnell AFB official site warns that families “should be prepared to pay for lodging (above and beyond the Temporary Lodging Expense) until adequate housing can be secured”.
Unaccompanied military members between the ranks of E1 and E3s plus those in the rank of E4 with less than three years of military service are required to live in barracks on base. As soon as PCS orders are available, it’s best to contact your sponsor once assigned to see what arrangements the gaining unit will need to make to secure unaccompanied housing.
Those in the rank of E4 and above with more than three years of service will be required to live in the local community.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Temporary lodging facilities are provided at McConnell AFB by the Air Capital Inn. Space is limited and those traveling on Permanent Change of Station orders (PCS) have priority. Reservations as far in advance as possible are strongly encouraged, and you can reserve up to 120 days in advance by calling 316-759-6999. There are facilities for pet owners as long as the pets are accompanied by their shot records. Pets cannot be accepted for temporary lodging without them.
If you arrive at McConnell AFB and there is no space available at the Air Capital Inn, be sure to obtain a Certificate Of Non-Availability so you may be reimbursed for off-base lodging expenses when you file your travel voucher.
At the time of this writing there are no base shuttles offered at McConnell AFB. The nearest airport is 15 miles away; the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport is in Wichita, Kansas and the usual commercial transportation options are available there. Military members who have been assigned a sponsor for a PCS move should contact their sponsor to arrange alternative transport if needed
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
McConnell AFB, like many other military installations, no longer requires a base decal for privately owned vehicles. However, all vehicles are subject to a 100% ID check at all times. Drivers’ licenses must be current and all drivers must carry proof of required insurance.
Active duty military members and dependents are not required to switch to Kansas licenses or vehicle registration. Kansas residents are permitted to renew their drivers’ licenses by mail if they are active duty military. Active duty military members who retire or separate from active service would be otherwise subject to Kansas state law where license and vehicle registration regulations are concerned.