Top two commanders of McConnell’s 22nd leaving in same year

The host unit at McConnell Air Force Base will not only be losing its commander this year, but its vice-commander will also be transferring.

Commanders and vice-commanders are rotated at bases every two years, “give or take a month,” McConnell spokesman Stefan Bocchino said.

Col. Ricky Rupp, commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, will be leaving in July after arriving at the Wichita base in June 2011. His new assignment hasn’t been determined, Bocchino said.

Col. Kyle J. Kremer, the 22nd’s vice commander, will also be leaving after only coming to McConnell in June 2012. He’ll become the new commander of the 375th Mobility Wing at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, although an exact date hasn’t been set.

Usually, the commander and vice-commander are rotated in alternating years, but Bocchino said it’s not unusual for vice-commanders to be transferred after only a year if they are getting a wing command as Kremer is.

Col. Joel D. Jackson, vice commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, will replace Rupp.

Jackson has logged more than 4,700 flight hours as a pilot of the KC-10 tankers, including combat missions during wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s a 1992 graduate of the Air Force Academy.

Kremer’s replacement hasn’t been announced. McConnell is the home for 63 KC-135 air-refueling tankers.