A statement from the 509th Bomb Wing vice commander

  • Published
  • By Col. Seth Graham, 509th Bomb Wing Vice Commander

Our Airmen, our families, and our communities are vital to our national security. All of you enable a unique worldwide mission, operating and supporting strategic operations with the most advanced aircraft ever built. We need you all to be healthy and safe—it is imperative.

As such, the Department of Defense has issued new travel restrictions, affecting domestic movement for service members and canceling government-funded travel for civilian employees and dependents.

I understand this can be very concerning for some, especially for those already in transit or who have family affected by COVID-19. I also understand that many of our Wingmen may be struggling to connect this guidance to their individual situations. Everyone is different and your leadership team will help you apply guidance to your personal lives. Please work your concerns through your chain of command and squadron commander. We are proactively developing local guidance to take care of our Airmen—wherever they may be.

Bottom line: do not expose yourself to unnecessary risk by traveling. All travel is restricted to the local area—including personal leave. Team Whiteman personnel can expect further guidance on this as the situation develops.

Families and dependents should continue to practice good social distancing and hygiene and are highly discouraged from traveling at all. The safest place you can be is at home.

We appreciate your patience and calm as we work through this. We have plans for dealing with disease and for protecting our team, but the real world does not always act as we would wish. We must all be flexible, resilient and adaptable.

Continue to exercise sound judgement—you are all part of our national defense mission and your actions have the potential to impact operations and community health.

We will provide updates to these rules and the Coronavirus situation as we learn more and adapt to a dynamic environment. Follow Whiteman AFB on Facebook to receive updates; they will be posted every day at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., and as the situation develops locally.

Your leadership is on this; we will take care of you and address your concerns. More information regarding the travel restrictions and COVID-19 can be found at https://media.defense.gov/2020/Mar/13/2002264270/-1/-1/1/FAQ-TRAVEL-RESTRICTIONS.PDF, https://www.af.mil/News/Coronavirus-Disease-2019/, www.whiteman.af.mil and on the AF Connect mobile app.

Additionally, early next week, we will host a “virtual town hall” where Col. Jeffrey Schreiner, 509th BW commander, or I, will personally address your concerns.  You can submit your questions via our Facebook and Twitter.

Take care of each other, your unit and your nation are counting on you!