News Releases

WICHITA, Kan. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and co-chair of the Senate Aerospace Caucus – today hosted U.S. Air Force Under Secretary Matthew P. Donovan and Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Dr. Will Roper in Wichita for tours at Wichita State University’s (WSU) National Institute for Aviation Research and Spirit AeroSystems.

Sen. Moran, Under Secretary Donovan and Assistant Secretary Roper tour the 3-D Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) in the Virtual Reality Lab at the Wichita State University Innovation Campus.

“I am pleased Under Secretary Donovan joined me in Wichita to see firsthand how Kansans support our United States Air Force in the ‘Air Capital of the World’,” said Sen. Moran. “Nearly every Air Force platform relies on the expertise or parts supplied by Kansans, and the manufacturers and engineers in Wichita are eager to not only continue their work for the Air Force, but to grow that work. Wichita offers the expertise, capacity and desire to be an epicenter of talent, innovation and efficiency for the Air Force, and I am committed to making certain the Pentagon remains acutely aware of the ways the Wichita area can serve the Department of Defense. I will continue to work to bring defense leaders to Wichita to see the abundant opportunities for growth and the value of increased partnerships with academic and industry leaders here."

“Nearly 70 percent of an aircraft’s cost over its lifetime goes to operating and sustaining it,” said Under Secretary Donovan. “Senator Moran has been a great advocate for the Air Force and I’m looking forward to harnessing some of the technology and expertise offered by Wichita State University and local companies to increase lethality and readiness.”

“We were honored to host Senator Moran, U.S. Air Force Under Secretary Donovan, Dr. Roper and others at our Wichita facility today,” said Spirit AeroSystems Senior Vice President for Defense and Fabrication Duane Hawkins. “Spirit has a history that includes producing some of the most important aircraft for our nation’s security, and we are committed to continue delivering innovation to meet the evolving needs of the warfighter today. Thank you to Senator Moran for allowing us to showcase our advanced design-build capabilities to our visiting Air Force guests.”

“We are honored that Senator Moran chose to host officials from the Air Force at Wichita State,” said Wichita State University President John Bardo. “We are proud of the important and critical research that is being done at Wichita State University and thankful to Senator Moran for helping organize a visit from key Air Force personnel highlighting the great work being done here and the partnerships between education, industry, military and government. We enjoyed highlighting the National Institute for Aviation Research and College of Engineering for Senator Moran and Under Secretary Donovan, and believe they are closely aligned with the Air Force’s needs for sustaining existing aircraft and innovating for the future."

“The greater Wichita region is the Air Capital of the World. Our immense manufacturing capabilities and industry expertise are driven by cooperation between the the aerospace industry, local and state government, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Wichita State University,” said Greater Wichita Partnership President Jeff Fluhr. “Aerospace companies from all over the world are drawn to our collaboration – it is a significant competitive advantage for our region and state. The U.S. Air Force is integral to that collaboration through McConnell Air Force base and the thousands of warfighters and retired personnel that comprise our talented labor market."