JAG-K Tours McConnell

Members of JAG-K toured McConnell Air Force Base, in Wichita on Wednesday, March 6. The tour was the first of its kind; bringing a large group of students to visit the base. Sergeant Matthew Laxton contacted JAG-K specialist Christy Pray, asking if she would like to bring the group on a tour of the base.

The tour aimed to show the students what happens at McConnell and the occupational opportunities they provide.

“He wanted us to get an overall sense of what the Air Force does there, primarily the Air Force Guard and the advantages of being in it,” Pray said.

The students were lead around the base through various facilities. One facility was the intel room where they learned about McConnell’s importance to cybersecurity.

“We saw a lot of cybersecurity stuff; that’s literally all McConnel does,” Jacob Gillis (11) said.

McConnell accounts for a good portion of the United States Air Force cybersecurity.

“It runs 50 percent of the Air Force [cybersecurity],” Devin Barker (10) said.

Many of their resources are spent on enforcing this. McConnell regularly hires professional hackers and coders to try and break into the servers to test their strength.

“They have one room probably as large as my classroom that’s just for servers,” Pray said.

Among other facilities, the students also toured a mobilization unit.

“We also went out to their mobilizing unit. We went into a tent where they can quickly mobilize they and could communicate between the ground and planes in the air,” Pray said.

In the tent, JAG-K students did what someone working in the unit would experience. They were able to wear headsets and interact with the various monitors.

McConnell has not permitted tours for large numbers of students, and many of the students were excited.

“We felt very honored to be escorted around and shown these behind the scenes,” Pray said.

Overall, it was fun for the students, having made many memories.

“My highlight would be when Sheldon got his phone forcibly removed” Gillis said, “It was hilarious.”

While following all rules at the base, students still managed to share moments with their peers.