McConnell Air Force Base

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Wichita, Derby and two other cities in Kansas have submitted proposals to become the site of the future U.S. Space Command headquarters.

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

A special military air convoy is scheduled to fly over south-central Kansas on Wednesday morning.

Two KC-135 Stratotankers and a KC-46 Pegasus tanker from McConnell Air Force Base along with the restored B-29 bomber known as “Doc” are taking part in the flight.

The team wants to honor health care workers, first responders and other essential personnel for their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The aircraft will fly over 11 hospitals in Wichita, Derby, Newton, Andover, Garden Plain, Haysville and El Dorado. The flight begins around 10 a.m. and lasts about an hour.

Senior Airman Skyler Combs / McConnell Air Force Base

McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita says it has increased its safety procedures for personnel who work in an aircraft hangar where a cancer-causing chemical is present.

Wikipedia

More than 50 personnel at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita may have been exposed to dangerous levels of a compound linked to cancer that was found inside an aircraft hangar last year, according to internal memos.

Contamination by hexavalent chromium, the subject of the case featured in the movie "Erin Brockovich," was documented in multiple base memos from October 2019 to January 2020, McClatchy reported. The chemical can be used as an anti-corrosion agent and is found in paints and primers used on the KC-135 and to a lesser extent the KC-46.

Another KC-46 Pegasus air refueling tanker is expected to arrive at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita on Friday.

It’ll be the first delivery since the Air Force stopped accepting the Boeing-built planes about six weeks ago due to a production issue.

An Air Force spokesperson says tanker deliveries will resume under a new extensive inspection process.

Boeing delivered its first KC-46 tanker to McConnell in January, and then sent three more before foreign object debris, or FOD, was discovered inside new aircraft.

IAMAW Local Lodge 708

A contractor strike at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita is entering its sixth week.

Seventeen machinists union members who work for FlightSafety Services Corporation walked off the job in mid-February. The workers rejected FlightSafety’s contract offer because the agreement did not include a government designation that determines wages. Last week, union members rejected a "return-to-work" agreement.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The workers who do training for refueling crews at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita are on strike.

Seventeen members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union walked off the job Tuesday morning, and plan to picket outside McConnell 12 hours a day.

Stephan Bisaha

After several delays, McConnell Air Force Base received not one but two new KC-46 tankers on Friday.

U.S. Air Force

Air Force officials announced Thursday that KC-46 Pegasus air refueling tankers will arrive at McConnell Air Force Base within three weeks.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita has been preparing for its next generation of air refueling tankers for more than four years.

Military and Boeing leaders have not yet announced a new delivery date for the KC-46 Pegasus tankers. Plans for a December arrival fell through.

In the meantime, Air Force crews continue to train for missions aboard the larger and more complex Boeing-built air refueling planes.

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