Whiteman newcomers off to a ‘right start’

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Relocating to a new base can be overwhelming and a tedious process for Airmen, civilians and their families.

In an effort to help members with a smooth transition, Whiteman's Airman & Family Readiness Center, and the 509th FSS military personnel section, work together to support newcomers get off to a "Right Start" here.

Right Start is the wing commander's welcoming program to Whiteman AFB and is held every other Tuesday. All incoming service members are required to attend within 30-days of in-processing the base, according to the Air Force Instruction 36-2103.

"The purpose is to help make the transition from their last base comfortable and easy," said Tech. Sgt. Laura Burton, 509th Force Support Squadron NCO in charge of the base INTRO program.

"The benefit for newcomers is that their briefings are in one central location instead of them driving all around the base," Burton said.

During Right Start, the wing commander and command chief welcome newcomers, and a comprehensive briefing is given about Whiteman's mission and heritage. Also discussed are items of interest and base policies.

Goals also include helping newcomers get acclimated to the base, the local area and get them familiar with what the surrounding region has to offer, according to Sandi Williams, 509th FSS community readiness consultant.

"Representatives from the education center, local colleges, the base housing office, air force sergeant's association, the Warrensburg and Sedalia chamber of commerce and local banks are there to answer questions," Williams said. "Individuals are provided with all the information they could possibly want."

Following the briefings, newcomers are introduced to an information fair where agencies from both on-base and off-base provide material about the local area.

After the information fair, additional briefers are introduced from the following offices: safety, health, substance abuse, equal opportunity, sexual assault response coordinators, security forces, voting representative, civilian engineer fire prevention, inspector general, civil engineer preparedness and readiness, public affairs, legal office, finance, transportation and the chapel.

"We aim to give newcomers the most pleasant and informative experience possible," Williams said.

Master Sgt. Brentt Johnson, 509th Munitions Squadron NCO in charge of line delivery, said the benefit was two-fold.

"We received valuable information about the local area and completed mandatory briefings all in one place," said Johnson.

Right Start briefings are held at Mission's End from 7:30-11:30 a.m., every other Tuesday, and newcomers are strongly encouraged to bring their spouse.

According to Burton, newcomers will receive a one day liberty pass for bringing their spouse.

For more information, contact the A&FRC at 660-687-4153, or log on to facebook.com/whiteman.afrc.
For Whiteman AFB Right Start questions, call 660-687-6125.