Reserve Unit Could Gain Wing Designation in January

The 931st Air Refueling Group could receive a Wing designation from the Air Force as soon as January, according to news releases Monday.

"The newly designated 931st Air Refueling Wing will grow by nearly 400 personnel to meet the needs of the wing," the group said in a release.

The announcement comes as reservists are gaining a larger role in McConnell Air Force Base operations as the Air Force prepares to roll out a new refueling tanker.

"The Wing designation will make certain the 931st receives the resources and manpower necessary to meet the air refueling demands of our Armed Forces for years to come," Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran said in a news release.

"For the 931st to become a wing is a testament to the tremendous work the airmen have done for years," Rep. Mike Pompeo said in a separate release.

The base will gain at least 400 new reservists to accommodate the group's new designation and the arrival of new KC-46A tankers later in 2016. McConnell was selected to receive the new tankers, which will eventually replace its aging fleet of 1950s-era KC-135 refueling tankers.

Tech. Sgt. Abigail Klein, the group's acting public affairs officer, said the designation was a long time coming.

"It wouldn't be possible without the support of our community and local representatives," she said.

She added it's still unclear when the final ceremony will happen and how the designation would affect the timeline for gaining new reservists.

"It really depends on the personnel that apply or the personnel that we'll gain," Klein said. "That doesn't necessarily mean that will speed up the process."

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