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Weekly commander's message

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE, Mo. -- Greetings, Team Whiteman!

Last Saturday was an exciting day! In the morning, several hundred of our youngest teammates reported for duty as part of Operation Spirit. This AFGSC Year of the Family event provided our military-connected children with a glimpse at what their parents experience when they deploy down range. Hosted by our Airman & Family Readiness Center and made possible by numerous volunteers, Operation Spirit was a huge success and it was great to see so many of you enjoying the day with your families … thanks to everyone who made this annual event possible!

Also on Saturday, nearly 1,000 members of our Total Force team witnessed the promotion of now-Brigadier General Brian Borgen, the commander of the 442d Fighter Wing! Congratulations again, Borg … we are very fortunate to have a senior leader of your caliber as part of Team Whiteman! On the flightline this week, we participated in Combat Hammer. This annual exercise affords us the opportunity to evaluate our conventional weapon employment capability from cradle to grave, beginning with the MXG building and loading weapons on the aircraft and ending with the OG employing the guided bombs to achieve desired effects on targets at a training range. By demonstrating this entire process, our Total Force team is able to assess the reliability and lethality of our incredible weapons system … and the entire team did a tremendous job!

Yesterday, it was great to be part of our Military Spouse Appreciation Social, which we hosted in celebration of National Military Spouse Appreciation Day. While the official holiday is today, we moved our celebration up to Thursday as today is a 509th Bomb Wing Down Day. Our military spouses prove each day that you do not need to wear a uniform to serve and we all owe them much more than a single day of recognition. We owe them our love. We owe them our respect. We owe them our support. Every single day. And we should always remember how lucky we are to have them standing by our side. So take time today to show your spouse how much you appreciate him or her!

Looking ahead to next week, our Security Forces Squadron will be celebrating National Police Week, an opportunity to honor those that currently serve, and remember those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The celebration will start on Monday with an opening ceremony at the base flagpole at 7:30 a.m. The week will culminate with a retreat ceremony at 5 p.m. on Friday at the flagpole, featuring our special guest, Warrensburg Chief of Police Richard Lockhart. There will be other activities throughout the week for you and your families to enjoy as well. Never forget that our Defenders and local law enforcement work tirelessly to keep us safe. They deserve our respect and admiration … so be sure to thank them for what they do, especially next week!

Be safe this weekend and take care of each other!

Defend … Avenge!

Brigadier General, USAF
Commander, 509th Bomb Wing