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‘We are continuing to fly’: McConnell Air Force shares what things are like on base

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – McConnell Air Force Base is practicing social distancing amidst the coronavirus pandemic, while still focusing on their missions.

“National defense is not stopping because of coronavirus,” said Colonel Rich Tanner, McConnell Wing Commander. “We are taking the health and wellness of our people and their families very seriously. We are definitely trying to protect the vulnerable populations that we serve, but make no mistake, we are keeping ourselves ready for our critical missions. We are continuing to fly and do those other things that we’ve been asked to do.”

That’s not all the McConnell airmen have been doing, they’ve been using their creativity to help those in the medical field.

“One of the things that they have there is a basically a wall filled with 3D printers,” said Colonel Tanner. “They put all of those to work to make a bunch of the kind of the buckle connections that would hold together some of those face shields for some of the outside the base first responders.”

They’ve been making face shields and face masks, plus they’re making sure they’re staying physically fit too. They’ve been challenging each other virtually.

“Since April 1 they’ve already reached into mass over 2800 push-ups and 2800 sit ups and they’ve already ran over 76 miles,” said Command Chief, Melissa Royster, McConnell Master Sergeant.”

Families on base are also working to help keep spirits high by making chalk and window art. They’ve even made hand sanitizer for defenders at the entrance gates.

As for their mission, it’s still full speed ahead.

“We have defenders defending we have maintainers that are generating airplanes and we have aircrew that are out flying airplanes every day,” said Colonel Tanner. “We’re doing that at a somewhat reduced pace, but we are keeping ourselves completely ready for our global mission. That’s something that we definitely take pride in, but we’re doing it in a way that protects ourselves and protects the communities that we serve.”

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