MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, KS, UNITED STATES
Story by Staff Sgt. Tryphena Mayhugh
The 22nd Air Refueling Wing, thanks to the 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron, opened a food truck park called the Refueling Station for Team McConnell Airmen April 4.
With very little foot traffic on base, brick and mortar food places have an uphill battle realizing success at McConnell. This causes issues for Airmen without the capability to go off base for food, as well as those in a time crunch during a lunch hour.
“There were legitimate complaints from Airmen and families about the lack of food options going back to 2016,” said Col. Nate Vogel, 22nd ARW commander. “The team here sat down and asked what is the problem, how do we solve the problem and what can we provide for our Airmen.”
The food truck park replaced the vacant Burger King that used to stand by the Base Exchange and across the street from the credit union. It will provide members of McConnell with different options for meals starting at twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the hope to expand in the future. The park includes covered seating under a pavilion, turf and electric vehicle charging stations.
““[What drove this] is honestly the Airmen and families, and we needed to be better for them here,” Vogel said. “Leaders are in the problem solving business. An Airman’s problem is our problem, and shame on us as leaders if we don’t get after solving problems. We’re just thrilled that we are able to bring this to the McConnell team and their families.”
During his visit to McConnell, Lt. Gen. Randall Reed, Air Mobility Command deputy commander, attended the opening for the food truck park.
“When I first heard about the [food truck park], I was overjoyed,” Reed said. “Airmen and families are the magic. When they’re happy, everyone’s happy, and that’s what we’re all about. Anything we can do to support them we will absolutely do it. Thank you, Team McConnell, you are fantastic.”
Any vendors interested in bringing their food truck to the park can reach out to AAFES representative Pauline Frischenmeyer at email@example.com or call (316) 685-0231.