“In good hands”: Diehl takes command of 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base
By Chelsea Ecklebe, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 16, 2021
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Diehl took the reins of the 509th Bomb Wing from outgoing commander Col. Jeffrey Schreiner during a change of command ceremony June 16, at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
Military change of commands are a time-honored tradition that formally symbolizes the continuity of authority as the command passes from one individual to another. The transfer of command is physically represented by handing the command flag, the tangible symbol of the unit, from the outgoing commander to the new.
"As I take my position at this historic base and storied unit, I want to congratulate Colonel Schreiner on a masterful job leading the world’s most lethal stealth platform," Diehl said. “I have big shoes to fill and it is an honor to continue the impressive work he began.”
After two years in command and leading Team Whiteman through the global COVID-19 pandemic, Schreiner is headed for a new leadership position with the United States Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
Maj. Gen. Mark Weatherington, Eighth Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander, presided over the ceremony and assured Airmen in attendance that the Wing has transitioned into very capable hands.
"It was an honor to preside over the event and to pass the 509th Bomb Wing reins from one remarkable leader to another,” Weatherington said. “The Airmen, civilians and families of Whiteman Air Force Base and the vital, strategic mission of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber are in good hands.”
Diehl is an experienced pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours in the T-37 Tweet, T-38 Talon and B-1B Lancer and has accumulated 664 combat hours throughout his Air Force career.
He transitioned to Whiteman AFB from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, where he commanded the 7th Operations Group -- Air Force Global Strike Command’s largest B-1 bomb group. At Whiteman, Diehl will be responsible for the combat readiness of the Air Force’s only B-2 Spirit wing and supporting installation functions.
Over the past months, he trained and qualified in the stealth bomber and is slated to meet with representatives of each group on base to immerse himself in Team Whiteman’s wide-ranging missions and community.
“I have already felt extremely welcomed by the members of Whiteman Air Force Base and I am humbled to become a part of this elite group,” Diehl said. “The mission of the 509th is absolutely vital to our national defense and every member of Team Whiteman is an invaluable asset in keeping our Air Force the greatest air force the world has ever known. I look forward to working alongside these talented and dedicated team members!”