More things to know: a COVID-19 recap for April 10

  • Published
  • By Capt. Keenan Kunst
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

This piece is a supplement to “Six things to know”

Whiteman Air Force Base declared a Public Health Emergency, March 22, 2020; since then, a lot has changed as Team Whiteman ramped up efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 and keep the base’s vital missions moving.

The commanders of the 509th Bomb Wing and the mission partner wings, the 442nd Fighter Wing and 131st Bomb Wing, remain fully committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of the base community, including spouses, dependents, and retirees.

The newer, recent changes were decisively enacted to rapidly respond to a dynamic threat. The spread of COVID-19 continues to present unique, changing challenges that we can only combat with our own unique solutions, ingenuity, and dedication.

Here is a round-up of some the recent changes and upcoming events regarding Whiteman AFB’s response to COVID-19.

1. The next virtual town hall with the commander will be Apr 14

Col. Jeffrey Schreiner, 509th Bomb Wing commander, will be hosting a live town hall via Facebook Live, April 14, at 10:00 a.m. Schreiner will be taking questions live via Facebook and will work to address public concerns and queries. Spouses, families, community members, and retirees are invited and encouraged to ask questions and participate.

Participants should keep their questions professional and respectful. We understand present world conditions can raise tempers and emotions, but unprofessional or derogatory comments are not welcome and will not be immediately responded to.

To combat coronavirus transmission, we must work together—Team Whiteman is one team and we are stronger together.

The live, virtual town hall will be held via Facebook and can be viewed at .

Additional info can always be found on the following sites:
Official Whiteman AFB Twitter:
Official Whiteman AFB COVID-19 Webpage:
Official 509th Medical Group Facebook:
CDC Coronavirus Website:
Air Force Global Strike Command COVID-19 Webpage:

2. When personnel cannot maintain physical distancing, they must wear masks

To the extent practical, without significantly impacting the mission, Team Whiteman personnel on Air Force property, must wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of physical distance.

Commanders are empowered to adjust this Air Force-level guidance when necessitated by safety. Effective mission safety is always a top priority at the tactical level.

Until masks can be provided uniformity is not required; Team Whiteman leaders do not intend to prevent Airmen from wearing masks due to color—health and safety are more important than uniformity. We need our team healthy and ready to execute our important strategic missions.

As a reminder, N95 and medical/surgical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers.

3. Changes to WAFB Commissary procedures

The Whiteman AFB Commissary was temporarily closed April 3, but was re-opened April 7, following a substantial deep-clean and the implementation of policies and procedures designed to keep Defense Commissary Agency employees and patrons safe and healthy, limiting the potential for the spread of COVID-19.

The following policies are now in place:

- Masks/cloth face coverings must be worn when entering, shopping in, or exiting the Commissary. This applies to employees and patrons.

- Only 45 customers will be allowed in the store at any one time (this number may be adjusted by 509th Medical Group Public Health officials at any time, as to best safeguard employees and shoppers).

- There will be fewer employees working each shift; maximized use of self check-out is highly encouraged.

- Limited hours:

- Tues – Sat: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (the first two hours are still limited to Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, and their dependents.
- Sun: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Team Whiteman commanders thank the DeCA staff for their continued professionalism, hard work and dedication to service! If you shop at the Whiteman AFB Commissary, be sure to thank those who are serving you!

4. The AF Connect App is an all-in-one resource … in your pocket!

The AF Connect app provides users a variety of information, resources, and contact methods, right from their mobile device or tablet. These resources include a COVID-19 info button and a full phone book for important base offices. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

For teleworkers, the app also offers limited CAC-enabled features with a compatible mobile CAC reader.

If you have not yet set up the app on your phone, it is an easy process. Once downloaded and installed, open the app and select “Whiteman Air Force Base” as a “favorite.” Once added, you can access localized features such as the phone book, chat groups, and events calendars; you will also be able to receive local, important push notifications direct to your device.

For more info read Public Affairs’ brief release about the app here:

5. The Child Development Center and Youth Center are now closed, but leaders remain committed to the community

Col. Jeffrey Schreiner directed the Whiteman AFB CDC and YC to remain closed until further notice to safeguard the health of the base community and Team Whiteman families.

“The health of Team Whiteman’s families is critical,” said Schreiner. “We have paused CDC and Youth Center operations to effectively and comprehensively clean the building.”

Schreiner added that all decisions regarding these services are made with mission preservation and community safety in mind.

However, Whiteman AFB is still committed to being a world-class place to live and work, and Team Whiteman’s helping agencies are proactively working on programs to provide for the comprehensive fitness of families and dependents. Stay tuned to the Whiteman AFB Facebook page for info on upcoming events, including contests and competitions, virtual classes, and physical fitness activities.

6. As always, when in doubt, use your chain of command

The Department of Defense and Team Whiteman will continue aggressively tackling the challenges presented by coronavirus; your local leaders are wholly committed to combatting the spread of this virus. However, our warfighting team and supportive families are made up of thousands of individuals. Each individual has their own concerns, fears and questions. Your leaders and commanders are here to help and are empowered to address your needs and wellbeing. Please do not hesitate to work through your chain of command to seek clarification or assistance. You can also direct questions to the 509th BW Commander and Command Chief using the Leadership Link here: