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McConnell awarded $500,000 to help airmen and their families

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, April 9, 2013, at 11:33 a.m.

McConnell Air Force Base will receive $500,000 after finishing runnerup for a national honor awarded annually to military installations for all branches of the service.

The money must be used for improving the quality of life of airmen and their families, such as upgrading dormitories or recreational facilities, McConnell spokesman Stefan Bocchino said Tuesday.

Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., won the Air Force category and will receive $1 million. McConnell and Keesler were the two finalists out of 166 bases considered for the 2012 Commander-in-Chief’s Installation Excellence Award.

Installations for the other service branches are considered separately for their awards. The award money comes from the defense department.

The award was created in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan. It encourages commanders to create an environment that promotes innovative and creative ways to enhance installation services, facilities and quality of life.

Among McConnell’s accomplishments last year are establishing the Air Force’s largest recycling program by reusing runway pavement in building a new runway and upgrading a fitness area and sports field complex.

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