What Made the KC-46A Tanker Hearing a Success

Tanker Publid Hearing - November 039_cropWe had a successful Public Hearing for the KC-46A Tanker program this week.  More than 150 people actually signed in with the Air Force and we counted 200+ attendees. It was impressive to see so many business leaders, elected officials, and area residents dedicate their evening to supporting McConnell Air Force Base.

We are especially appreciative of those who offered public comments.  Our speakers included:

Susan Erlenwein        Sedgwick County Environmental Resources
Claudio Ferraro          Via Christi Health
Ryan Flickner             Office of Senator Pat Roberts
Debbie Gann              Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce
Jim Howell                  Kansas House of Representatives
Toni Porter                  Office of Congressman Mike Pompeo
Jack Pulley                 Friends of McConnell
Wayne Roberts          WMC Tanker Task Force
John Schlegel            City of Wichita Planning Department
Kathy Sexton             City of Derby
Jim Skelton                Sedgwick County Commission
Victor White               Wichita Airport Authority
Tim Witsman             Wichita Independent Business Association
Mike Zamrzla             Office of Senator Jerry Moran

All of the public comments were on target and very positive.  As expected, we didn’t hear a single negative comment. At the end of the evening, all three members of the Air Force panel complimented us on a good turnout and well-prepared speakers.  

Many people in the community put forth a lot of effort to ensure that the hearing went smoothly. I owe a great debt of gratitude to our Congressional offices and the responsiveness of their teams. Some of our elected officials who couldn’t attend the hearing took the time to videotape supportive messages. Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer spent time discussing the issue with local media and submitted an impressive editorial to the Wichita Eagle. Our Derby partners, Kathy Sexton and Allison Moeding, also participated in media interviews. The Chamber and the Wichita Independent Business Association made sure that all of their members were well-informed about the importance of attending the event. And of course, our tireless Tanker Task Force Chairman, Wayne Roberts, and Friends of McConnell President, Jack Pulley, were great spokespersons when interviewed by various print and electronic media outlets.

We’re also appreciative of the many media outlets that assisted us in providing information to the public about the event. Special thanks to:  99.7 Light FM, KNSS Radio, 104.5 The Fox, KAKE-TV, KSN-TV, KWCH-TV, the Wichita Business Journal and The Wichita Eagle.

You can view the editorial, videotaped messages, articles, and interviews on the Friends of McConnell Facebook page. Photos from the event are also available at this site.  The Air Force will continue to accept public comments until December 9, 2013. You may access a comment form at this site: http://www.kc46abeddown.com/common/authenticate.aspx?rtype=1

We expect a final decision on this important program in late Spring of 2014. We anticipate sharing positive news with you at that time.

Pat Gallagher
Wichita Metro Chamber
Military Liaison

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