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442d Fighter Wing hosts Sporting KC

Four A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft fly over Children's Mercy Park as a flag is unfurled on the field below in August 2017.

Four A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft fly over Children's Mercy Park as a flag is unfurled on the field below in August 2017. The flyover was part of Sporting KC's Sporting Salutes military appreciation event. (Photo courtesy of Sporting Kansas City)

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018.

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018. The group learned about the mission of the 442FW and were given a tour of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Bob Jennings/Released)

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018.

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018. The group learned about the mission of the 442FW and were given a tour of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Bob Jennings/Released)

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018.

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018. The group learned about the mission of the 442FW and were given a tour of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Bob Jennings/Released)

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018.

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018. The group learned about the mission of the 442FW and were given a tour of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Bob Jennings/Released)

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018.

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018. The group learned about the mission of the 442FW and were given a tour of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Bob Jennings/Released)

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018.

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018. The group learned about the mission of the 442FW and were given a tour of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Bob Jennings/Released)

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018.

Players and executives from Sporting Kansas City paid a visit to the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 30, 2018. The group learned about the mission of the 442FW and were given a tour of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Bob Jennings/Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – The 442d Fighter Wing hosted a group of players and executives from the Sporting Kansas City Major League Soccer team for a tour of the wing May 30, 2018.

The visitors included forwards Khiry Shelton and Kharlton Belmar, club CEO and President Jake Reid, manager and technical director Peter Vermes, Chief Financial Officer Marty Nevshemal, and Sporting Salutes advisor James Elliott.

The tour was meant to strengthen the relationship between the 442 FW and the soccer team. The wing has been invited to events at Children’s Mercy Park, the stadium in which Sporting KC plays, but this is the first time Sporting KC members have been guests of the fighter wing.

In 2017, as part of the Sporting Salutes military appreciation event, Airmen from the 442 FW were invited onto the field to take part in the “I believe” chant, and A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft from the 442 FW performed a flyover as the flag was unfurled on the field.

“The 442 FW community outreach teamwork with Sporting KC creates synergy for both groups,” said Col. Roger Suro, the 442 FW commander. “Sporting KC will help bolster the 442 FW's recruiting and retention efforts and the 442 FW will provide an opportunity for Sporting KC's generous veterans programs to honor our heroes and their families.”