Category Archives: McConnell Air Force Base

McConnell Air Force Base ranks near bottom of magazine’s list of top bases for airmen

WICHITA — AirForceTimes on Tuesday released a report of the top bases for airmen.

“No matter the service, no matter the era, one of the favorite pastimes of troops has always been comparing duty stations — griping about the lousy ones and singing the praises of the good ones,” the magazine said.

McConnell Air Force Base might have cause to gripe – about the list.

McConnell makes the list, but of 68 bases on it, McConnell was tied for 66th.

“McConnell is a great place to work, live and raise a family,” 22nd Air Refueling Wing Commander Col. Joel Jackson said in a statement. “I am proud of our base, proud to be a part of the Wichita community. The people and Airmen of Wichita and McConnell AFB make it where I want to live.”

Affordable housing and recreational opportunities helped Scott Air Force Base in Illinois and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio tie for tops on the list.

Jackson has his own list of things to brag about for McConnell.

“Team McConnell benefits from an unparalleled level of community support and partnership, enhancing the quality of life for our Airmen and their families,” he said in the statement. “As a result, McConnell AFB was selected as the runner-up for the 2013 Commander-in-Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence, which recognizes DoD’s (Department of Defense) exemplary base. Today, the support of the numerous communities surrounding McConnell AFB enables the total force to continue to build on that success, and accomplish our mission of global reach each and every day.”

You don’t say

“Be aware, Boeing, ‘this route has tolls.’ Bring some change.”

– An NPR story that acknowledged a stranded Dreamlifter likely couldn’t be towed from Colonel James Jabara Airport to McConnell Air Force Base but offered a Google map and driving directions anyway

My Mechanic’s to open shop at McConnell Air Force Base

WICHITA — Almost exactly a year after opening their first My Mechanic’s shop, owners Dennis Allison and Scott Berry plan to open their second.

The first one opened in early April 2011 at 2095 W. 21st St., near 21st and Amidon.

The second officially will open April 1, though there will be a soft opening shortly before, at McConnell Air Force Base.

“They called and asked me if I wanted to submit a bid, and I said, ‘Well sure, absolutely,’” Allison says.

My Mechanic’s will have two bays at Building 314 on base.

Initially, the shop will serve people who work on base, but it could expand to do work on military vehicles as well.

“We’re working on that contract, too,” Allison says.

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Port of Wichita attracts attention from Maxim thanks to McConnell Air Force Base

WICHITA — Port of Wichita owner Scott Jones has always appreciated his military clientele, and now he has one more reason to thank them.

Maxim magazine has named his bar, which is at 1548 S. Webb not far from McConnell Air Force Base, one of the top military bars in the country.

Under the headline “Hard Corps Partying,” the magazine names a couple dozen bars popular with military personnel.

The “Pour of Duty” includes the Port because McConnell personnel “have been heading to this watering hole for 25 years to rock out to live music and kick back with cold beer.” Its pool tables, TVs and “awesome two-for-one burger special” get a mention, too.

The magazine called Jones, who has owned the bar for four years, about three times one day trying to reach him. When a bartender told him it was the magazine calling, Jones thought it was a joke.

“I was like, what the heck could that be for?” he says.

Jones, who served in the Navy from 1986 to 1991, doesn’t charge members of the military a cover for music.

“We just try to pass along some good will with military since we’re right in the neighborhood,” he says.

“The military gets a bad rap for being rowdy at the clubs,” Jones says. “I have absolutely no problems with my military clientele here. Matter of fact, they probably got us through the recession.”

They’re also who told Maxim about the Port.

“It was real neat that they got us recognized.”

Alterations by Sarah and Millers Dry Cleaners expand their retail partnership

WICHITA — Some small businesses struggle to compete against big chains, but Alterations by Sarah and Millers Dry Cleaners have found a way around that.

“This is kind of a neat little concept how mom and pops have banded together,” says Alterations co-owner Abdul Arif.

The companies share space near 21st and Maize and Kellogg and Greenwich and are preparing to merge their third and fourth sites.

It’s what Arif calls a strategic partnership to reduce overhead, improve customer service and co-brand to increase their market presence.

“You know, it’s worked out really good,” says Craig Miller, who owns Millers with his parents, Betty and Danny.

“We think it’s a neat little . . . business model,” he says.

The Millers’ first venture with Arif was in 2001 near 21st and Maize.

Arif was looking for west-side space, and he couldn’t find anything less than about $30 a square foot, which he says was too high for him.

The Millers were looking for a new store then, too, and Arif suggested sharing retail space.

Then, in 2008, they moved together near Kellogg and Greenwich.

Now, the Millers at the Cherry Creek shopping center at Harry and Rock is moving across across the street to the Alterations space at 1210 S. Rock Road. Millers will open there March 1.

Next week, Millers will open at the Alterations space at McConnell Air Force Base.

“Anyone that has to . . . open a retail (store) knows the expenses involved with doing that,” Craig Miller says. “Just the sheer square footage cost of rental and utilities.

“We’re able to cut that in half.”

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