Whiteman AFB officials honor the first 509th Bomb Wing command chief

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christina Carter
  • 509th Bomb Wing

Whiteman Air Force Base leadership renamed the Professional Development Center June 16, 2020, in honor of the Wing’s first command chief. 


The PDC was renamed the Buckingham Professional Development Center in honor of retired Chief Master Sgt. Dale Buckingham for his service to the Airmen of Team Whiteman. 


The PDC holds the Airmen Leadership School, base testing center, career assistance advisor, education center, base library and First Term Airmen Center. Buckingham was instrumental in the development of the FTAC at Whiteman AFB in 1998. Only the second such center in the AF at the time. FTAC provides a chance for new Airmen to learn about the AF and the base.


“Chief Buckingham cared for all Airmen,” said Walter Farwell, the 509th Bomb Wing chief of protocol. “He pushed everyone he came in contact with to be a better person.” 


In 1999, Buckingham was chosen to be command chief at Whiteman AFB, a position he held until his retirement in 2001.


“It is very fitting that the PDC be renamed after Mr. Buckingham,” said Charay Zimmerschied, 509th Force Support Squadron Force Development flight chief. “His impact on Whiteman as a command chief and director of Park University during his tenure is immeasurable. He loved spending time with Airmen, mentoring them and getting them excited about serving and learning. This is a nice way to honor his memory.”


After 30 years in service, Buckingham continued to support the local community in Warrensburg, Missouri, until his death in 2018.


“Working with Buck was always a learning experience,” said Zimmerschied. “He was an extremely wise man and very subtle in how he shared his knowledge and experiences. He never came straight out and gave people advice, he let them get there on their own. Mr. Buckingham was a great man and impacted those around him positively.  His joy came from helping others better themselves. ”


Buckingham served the community in many ways to include being a former Whiteman Base Community Council president. The BCC started a scholarship in his honor.


"The Whiteman Base Community Council is proud to initiate this scholarship fund in Dale Buckingham's name,” said Karl Kramer, former BCC Board president. “From the beginning, Dale made a positive and lasting impact on Airman and the base as a whole. We hope this annual scholarship lifts up Airman in a way that would make Dale proud." 



The Dale Buckingham scholarship is open to all military service members and will go toward any college and/or trade school. 


The winner of the scholarship will be announced in September.