The Team Whiteman concept: 1-135th Assault Helicopter Battalion

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WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – Many historic and storied Air Force units have called Whiteman Air Force Base home, however the base began its life as an Army base: Sedalia Army Airfield.

Despite the base being integrated into the Air Force, a unit of the Army continues to call the base home to this day.

The Missouri Army National Guard’s 1-135th Assault Helicopter Battalion, located at Whiteman AFB, supports American and allied troops with air assault and air movement capabilities while also supporting the State of Missouri in case of natural disasters or other emergencies.

Since its arrival to Whiteman AFB in 1973, the 1-135th has flown a variety of different aircraft. They flew the AH-64 Apache until 2016, when they switched over to the UH-60 Black Hawk.

Throughout that history, the 1-135th has always been an integral partner supporting Air Force operations at Whiteman AFB.

“When we had Apache’s we’d provide armed overwatch for the 509th Security Forces Squadron,” said U.S. Army Maj. Derek Forst, 1-135th AHB executive officer, “we were integrated with the 442d Fighter Wing on combat search and rescue missions, and we’ve continued to maintain those relationships despite the change in aircraft.”

Additionally, the 1-135th uses their capabilities to enhance training for 509th and 131st Bomb Wing Airmen stationed at Whiteman AFB.

“Their training is our training,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Bobby Gentry, 1-135th AHB alpha company platoon leader. “On the battlefield, in an expeditionary environment, that is a joint mission, so integrating and working with our Air Force counterparts is paramount.

”The 1-135th supports their Air Force partners with personnel recovery and combat search and rescue capabilities, as well as other essential training. This in turn allows 1-135th pilots and crew to complete their training and log more of their required flight hours.

“The Team Whiteman concept has been alive and well since I’ve been here and I’ve been here a long time,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Robert Moore, 35th Combat Aviation Brigade command chief warrant officer. “We’ve had a great relationship with the units here for decades and will continue to do so for decades to come.”