Whiteman, Barksdale defenders protect operations in the Pacific
By Airman 1st Class Jazmin Smith, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs / Published February 03, 2017
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
The B-2 Spirit is the world’s premier stealth bomber. It has the ability to penetrate an enemy’s most sophisticated defenses and threaten heavily defended targets while avoiding adversarial detection, tracking and engagement.
Assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB), Missouri, three B-2 bombers deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, in support of the U.S. Strategic Command Bomber Assurance and Deterrence mission.
Just as the B-2 presents a credible defense to our nation and its allies, the vigilance of the security forces members who deploy with the aircraft is paramount as the first line of defense in guarding one of the highest priority assets of the U.S. Air Force.
“This mission not only validates the military's essential need to display our vital deterrence capabilities to both our allies and enemies at home and abroad, but also serves as a great opportunity for security forces members to become educated and to better understand why we perform our nuclear mission back at Whiteman,” said U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Alex Covey, the 509th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) bravo flight commander.
During this deployment, Airmen with the 509th SFS were joined by their brothers and sisters assigned to the 2nd SFS from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.
“Our shared mission isn't just about security forces protecting one of the military's greatest assets,” added Covey. “It's about every unit working together with effective communication and discipline in order to display our nuclear deterrence to the world.”
These team members overcame the challenges that arose from working in a different environment.
“We pulled security forces members from two separate bases, with completely different operations,” said Staff Sgt. Hannah Phillips, the 2nd SFS flight chief. “This particular mission provided a unique opportunity for both the 509th and 2nd Security Forces Squadrons to learn and grow as defenders together.”
The primary duties of a defender remained the same: make sure certain procedures were carried out, remain alert, take care of each other and ensure the security of the aircraft.
“Wherever you go, security is always critical to the mission,” said Tech. Sgt. William Riney, Jr., a 509th SFS flight chief. “Having the opportunity to protect this resource so that the mission can be accomplished gives security forces members a sense of pride in what we do.”