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New OG commander a familiar face to Whiteman

Col. Thomas Bussiere, 509th Operations Group commander, addresses the 509th OG during the OG change of command 9 July. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephen Linch)

Col. Thomas Bussiere, 509th Operations Group commander, addresses the 509th OG during the OG change of command 9 July. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephen Linch)

Col. Thomas Bussiere, 509th Operations Group commander, returns to Whiteman after attending the Army War College for a year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel Park)

Col. Thomas Bussiere, 509th Operations Group commander, returns to Whiteman after attending the Army War College for a year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel Park)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone, 509th Bomb Wing commander, handed the 509th Operations Group guidon to the newly inducted group commander, Col. Thomas Bussiere, during a change-of-command ceremony July 9.

Colonel Bussiere, who was stationed here from October 2002 - June 2006, returns to Whiteman Air Force Base after attending the U.S. Army War College for a year.

"It is an awesome experience to be here with the members of the 509th Bomb Wing," said Colonel Bussiere who took over for Col. Robert Wheeler, former 509th OG commander.

When General Biscone addressed members of the 509th OG during the ceremony, he said, "I can think of no more qualified Airman to jump in the seat and take the stick mid-mission (than Colonel Bussiere)."

Colonel Bussiere first came to Whiteman June 1996 - June 1999 as a B-2 instructor pilot, flight examiner and director of operations for the 393d Bomb Squadron.

During his last assignment at Whiteman Colonel Bussiere served as the commander of the 13th and 325th Bomb Squadrons and the chief of wing safety.

He is a command pilot with more than 3,100 hour in the T-38A, AT-38B, F-15 A/B/C/D, and the B-2.

The wing members and General Biscone bid farewell to Colonel Wheeler, to whom General Biscone said, "You also leave us with a personal legacy-that of great patriot, Airman and leader."

"Your fellow 509ers wish you clear skies and tail winds during your trip down to Barksdale," he added.

The former operations group commander's next assignment is commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.