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Weekly commander's message

Brigadier General John J. Nichols

Brigadier General John J. Nichols is the Commander, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.


Team Whiteman,

This week our Total Force team once again demonstrated our unique global strike capabilities by executing several sorties involving the release of training munitions over local ranges. We also supported USAF Weapons School operations by conducting three full scale weapon releases, of eighty 500-pound bombs each, at the Nellis Test and Training Range in Nevada. These operations were a total team effort, and as always I am incredibly proud of the way our team performed.

Outside our gates this week, members of our Total Force team and the local community met to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Spirit Trail. Once complete, the trail will connect Knob Noster State Park and Warrensburg. In addition to the biking and running options this $1.2 million community project will provide our area, the trail will also provide new opportunities for our families to spend time together outside. As you know, 2017 is Air Force Global Strike Command’s Year of the Family, and this endeavor is an example of how not only our Air Force supports our military families, but how our local communities do too.

Looking ahead to next week, Mr. Kevin Hines will be here to visit and speak with our team. Mr. Hines is the author of "Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt." At the age of 19, Mr. Hines attempted suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Miraculously, he survived the fall and now has become an inspirational speaker. I have had the privilege of hearing Mr. Hines speak before -- his message is emotional and especially inspirational, which is why we are bringing him here.

Mr. Hines’s first presentation will be on Thursday, August 24, at 6:30 p.m. inside the Professional Development Center. This evening presentation allows spouses and age-appropriate dependents to hear his story as well. He will also give two presentations on Friday, August 25, inside Hangar 52, which will be an approved alternate duty location for both civilian and military members. One session will be at 7 a.m., and the other will be at 3 p.m. I look forward to hearing his presentation alongside all of you.

As we head into the weekend, talk to your Wingmen about their plans. If they don’t have any, find something to do together that you both will enjoy. There is a lot going on in the local area, including the State Fair in Sedalia, so be sure to enjoy all that the Heartland has to offer.

Thanks for what you and your families do for our great nation. Have a great, safe weekend.




Brigadier General, USAF

Commander, 509th Bomb Wing