🏀 Men’s Hoops Participate in Military Leadership Retreat with the 190th Air Re-Fueling Wing

TOPEKA – Kansas men’s basketball spent most of its Thursday with the staff from the 190th Air Re-Fueling Wing at Forbes Field in Topeka.

The military leadership retreat was part of the many culture inclusive activities the KU men’s program participates. Coordinated by KU Men’s Basketball Director of Operations Fred Quartlebaum and KU Leads representatives Dr. Scott Ward and Wayne Simien, the Jayhawks were treated to three briefings from 190th Air Fueling Wing leadership. KU alum James Elliott coordinated the retreat.

Air refueling has existed for more than 100 years. The KC-135 is a Boeing plane that is 41-feet high and 136-feet long with a wingspan of 130-feet, 10 inches. It can reach speeds of 530 miles per hour at 30,000 feet and weighs 322,500 pounds on takeoff, carrying 83,00 pounds of cargo. Its crew consists of a pilot, co-pilot, crew chief and boom operator who handles the refueling while in flight.

Led by Colonel Kent Crane, each briefing contained a theme. Colonel Crane’s was leadership and teamwork focused. Captain Jacob King then presented to the group a “humble pie” theme that included a message on integrity, service and excellence. He was followed by Captain Paul Day, who discussed rapid team development, selflessness, and trust. Each used specific examples of their own military experiences in their presentations.

“My biggest takeaway from today was how a basketball program relates to the military in how they are all connected and on the same page and trust and believe in each other,” KU super-senior Kevin McCullar Jr. said. “Trust was a big thing they talked about and I think that carries over with basketball and being in the military.”

Following a lunch that included the team interacting with many of the 190th Air Re-fueling Wing crew, the team broke into two groups. One group took a tour of the massive refueling plane, the KC-135. The second group went to the refueling simulator and tried their hand as boom operators in refueling a stealth bomber.

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