Boomer B. McConnell is the mascot of the 22d Force Support Squadron Marketing Department and is known for informing Team McConnell of “The Buzz” around Base. Where did Boomer B. McConnell originate? And why is he a bee? The answer is steeped in tradition.
The name “Boomer” stems from two aspects of McConnell AFB history. First, it recognizes the 22d Bombardment Group that was deactivated in 1952. The Bombardment Group was one of the first Army Air Force units to deploy to the Pacific Theater following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and it is the origins of the 22d Operations Group now stationed at McConnell AFB. In addition, the name “boomer” also give a nod to McConnell AFB’s current mission, which is air refueling. Air refueling aircraft such as the KC-135 and the KC-46 act as “gas stations in the sky”, refueling aircraft mid-flight and thus eliminating the need to pause a mission for fuel. This is accomplished through a long, rigid, telescoping tube called a “boom” that extends from the KC-135 or KC-46 and connects to the receiving aircraft, through which the fuel is then transferred. Airmen who control the boom are called “boom operators.”
The B. in Boomer’s name stands for “Bumble,” because he’s a bee, of course! The honeybee is the state insect of Kansas, and honeybees share a lot of the same characteristics as Team McConnell. Honeybees go on “missions” to pollenate plants and give them the fuel they need to grow, much like our tankers go on missions to give other aircraft the fuel they need to complete their missions. While out, honeybees bring back nectar so the hive can grow and thrive. The Force Support Squadron (FSS) provides facilities and services that our Airmen and their families can utilize on the home front, helping them grow and thrive by offering support, rest, resiliency, and opportunities to have a little fun. Finally, each member of a honeybee hive has a particular job that they must perform to maintain the health of the hive. Likewise, every member of Team McConnell must perform their part in order to make our mission a success.
Finally, Boomer’s last name represents us– Team “McConnell.” We get to be a part of the most amazing air force in the world, at the best base in the world! Military life has its challenges, but nothing can stop us if we pull together and support each other. ‘The 22d Force Support Squadron is here to “Refuel the Hive,” giving Airmen the tools they need to be good wingmen and families the chance to connect and thrive in our military community.