NEWS | Feb. 15, 2022

80 Years of Whiteman: A legacy of combat power and future of innovation

By Airman 1st Class Victoria Hommel 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

As the Air Force commemorates 75 years of Air Power in 2022, Whiteman Air Force Base celebrates 80 Years of Heritage from the Heartland.

The 509th Bomb Wing has had an impact on the Air Force since World War II and is blazing a new trail as the Air Force’s only B-2 Spirit Advanced Technology Bomber unit, leaving behind a legacy of combat power.

Over the years Team Whiteman has supported Operation Allied Force, providing some of the first aerial assets to strike Taliban targets following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. Whiteman Strikers also supported Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and led the way during Operation Odyssey Dawn.

In its strategic role, the B-2 is employed every single day as a credible, effective deterrent weapon that shapes the decisions of America’s adversaries.

From the beginning, Whiteman AFB has been at the forefront of the fight. Starting with training glider tactics and paratroopers during WWII under the original name of Sedalia Army Air Field, to remotely operating from underground launch control centers for the Minuteman-I Missile, Whiteman AFB has been instrumental in the defense of our nation.

Thanks to the dedication of Congressman Ike Skeleton, Whiteman continued its legacy of Anytime, Anywhere with the adoption of the B-2 Spirit in 1993.Which even now, remains the world’s most technologically advanced strategic bombers because of the dedication and professionalism of Team Whiteman’s Airmen.

“The 80th Anniversary of Whiteman Air Force Base is a unique opportunity to celebrate and honor our Airmen, both past and present, those who built our legacy of combat airpower and those who continue it,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Diehl, 509th Bomb Wing Commander. “Our unique past is what enables us, as Team Whiteman, to employ the world’s only strategic stealth bomber. I am honored to lead the Airmen of Whiteman, as we continue to provide nuclear operations and global strike in the world’s greatest Air Force. Follow us!"

Since its inception the base has always been at the forefront of national defense. With the arrival of the first B-2 and the subsequent assignment of others, the future of the installation looks bright for many years to come.

Throughout 2022, Whiteman will celebrate its 80th milestone with various events in and outside the gates, spotlighting its history, accomplishments, and many of the pioneering Airmen whose innovation, dedication to mission, and war-fighting spirit helped establish the U.S. Air Force of today.