Phillip O'Connor
Enterprise Desk Enterprise Editor
O'Connor joined the Oklahoman staff in June, 2012 after working at The Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a combined 28 years. O'Connor, an Oklahoma City resident, is a graduate of Kansas State University. He has written frequently about the military and has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Haiti, Israel and several other countries.

  • Oklahoma-bound Air Force tanker passes another milestone

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Mon, Feb 15, 2016

    The KC-46 Pegasus aerial tanker passed another test last week when it refueled a Navy F/A-18 fighter in flight. The Feb. 10 test was the second of six the Oklahoma-bound aircraft will undergo with six different types of aircraft before the Air Force is expected to give its ok to production. Boeing already has been building some of the planes in anticipation of Air Force approval to make up for time lost from earlier program delays. The Pegasus, a militarized version of the Boeing 767, is intended to replace the Air Force's aging tanker fleet and will be serviced at Tinker Air Force Base while flight crews for the new plane will train at Altus Air Force Base. Boeing is scheduled to deliver the first 18

  • Wounded Warrior organization accused of wasteful spending

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Thu, Jan 28, 2016

    CBS News is the latest to point a finger at the Wounded Warrior charitable organization broadcasting a two-part story this week that includes interviews with former employees who allege lavish spending by the group which raises money on behalf of injured veterans. The New York Times published a similar story this week raising questions about excessive travel, expensive dinners and lavish hotel stays by the charity. A report last year in The Daily Beast focused on what it considered the excessive pay going to the group's CEO and other top executives.

  • Which animals are best at solving puzzles?

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Tue, Jan 26, 2016

    An interesting story from the New York Times tells about research that looked at which of  39 species of carnivores in zoos were best at opening a puzzle box containing a treat. So just how did those cute little meerkats fare? Read on.

  • Oklahoma-bound tanker completes key flight test

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Mon, Jan 25, 2016

    A new generation tanker aircraft expected to play a key role in securing the future of Oklahoma's two major U.S. Air Force installations passed a key flight test Sunday, completing its first aerial refueling, according to Aviation Week. The exchange between the KC-46A Pegasus and an F-16C Fighting Falcon from Edwards Air Force Base in California took place over the shores of southern Washington and northern Oregon.  The new KC-46A  will be serviced at Tinker Air Force Base and flight crews for the new plane will train at Altus Air Force Base. Boeing is scheduled to deliver the first combat-ready planes to Altus in 2017. The Pegasus is a replacement for the nearly 60-year-old KC-135 and is essentially

  • Update on problem-plagued Air Force plane headed for Oklahoma

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Fri, Jan 8, 2016

    A report in Aviation Week includes a comprehensive assessment of the problem-plagued KC-46, the next-generation aerial refueler now in development by Boeing and scheduled to be based and maintained in Oklahoma once combat ready. The Pegasus will be serviced at Tinker Air Force Base and flight crews for the new plane will train at Altus Air Force new KC-46 Base. Boeing is scheduled to deliver the first planes to Altus in 2017. Here's a snippet from the Aviation Week report: "Boeing had a tough 2015 for the KC-46 refueler program after taking a second charge in as many years to keep the project on track for its obligated 18 war-ready deliveries to the U.S. Air Force in August 2017.

  • How a Texas plumber's truck wound up in Syria with an anti-aircraft gun in the back

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Tue, Dec 15, 2015

    A crazy story from the Washington Post about how you just really never know where that old vehicle you got rid of might wind up.

  • Oklahoma-bound Air Force tanker passes key flight test

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Tue, Nov 17, 2015

    The U.S. Air Force's new Oklahoma-bound aerial refueling tanker is headed on to the next round of flight tests, after gaining initial airworthiness certification for the aircraft outfitted with its wing-mounted pods and centerline refueling boom, according to Aviation Week. Initial airworthiness testing of the fuel dock was completed Nov. 12 on the first KC-46's 20th flight, the publication reported. The flight lasted six hours. According to Aviation Week: "This initial airworthiness testing is one of two major milestones before the program can shift to actually offloading fuel to receivers. The Air Force hopes to begin its aerial refueling demonstration work in late December or early January, said Air Force

  • Video: Watch retired Navy Seal set wing suit record

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Fri, Nov 13, 2015

    Retired U.S. Navy SEAL Andy Stumpf recently risked his life to set a wing suit record all for charity.

  • Video: Fly with the Blue Angels in 360 degree view

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Fri, Nov 13, 2015

    This amazing video puts you in the rear seat of a U.S. Navy Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet as it makes a series of tight-formation maneuvers at a Georgia Air Show last month. No air sickness bag is included.

  • Eight things you need to know about Tuesday's GOP debate

    Phillip OConnor,Chris Casteel | Updated: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    GOP presidential candidates will square off Tuesday in Milwaukee for their fourth debate. Be sure to follow NewsOK.com for live coverage.  Here's some things you might want to know about Tuesday's tilts.  Who faces the most scrutiny? It could be the moderators. GOP candidates and Republican Party officials complained that the questioning during the last debate hosted by CNBC was "biased and inept." Several candidates chastised the moderators and threatened to no longer participate unless some changes were made.

  • 4th GOP debate stage lineup set

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Fri, Nov 6, 2015

    The numbers are in and the staging is set for Tuesday's Republican presidential debates from Milwaukee hosted by the Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal. Here's how the candidates will line up.  The main debate stage from left to right: Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Business mogul Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. The undercard debate stage from left to right: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Be sure to follow our live

  • Past-due taxes rolling in

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Fri, Nov 6, 2015

    Oklahoman business reporter Brianna Bailey took a look at a state amnesty program for those owing past-due taxes and found the money flowing in. To get the full story right now, subscribers can log in to Oklahoman.com here.

  • Holtzclaw trial enters Day 5

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Thu, Nov 5, 2015

    Testimony continued today in the case of a fired Oklahoma City police officer accused of sexually assaulting 13 women. Oklahoma County District Court jurors watched a video of Officer Daniel Holtzclaw’s interrogation and heard from a lead detective in the case. Holtzclaw is being tried on 36 counts, including eight counts of rape. He also faces counts of sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, burglary, stalking, indecent exposure and procuring lewd exhibition. Holtzclaw was originally charged in August. He was fired from the police department in January. The trial is scheduled to resume Friday with more of the interrogation video and testimony from investigators.

  • Live coverage of OSU Memorial tonight

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Tue, Nov 3, 2015

    The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com will be live in Stillwater later today for a community memorial service honoring the lives lost and celebrating the lives saved in the Oct. 24 Oklahoma State University homecoming parade tragedy. Be sure to check NewsOK.com for frequent updates and a live stream of the event.

  • Naval Academy students kill it with Uptown Funk takeoff video

    Phillip OConnor | Updated: Tue, Nov 3, 2015

    The Navy Times brings us of a group of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen showing their school spirit by offering their own take on the popular hit Uptown Funk.





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