BCC: A civilian-military partnership

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
(Editor's note: Columbia, Mo. was highlighted in the Jan. 28 edition of the Whiteman Warrior and can be found on www.whiteman.af.mil.Due to inclement weather, the BCC is rescheduled to March 8).

The civilian and military partnership at Whiteman Air Force Base has been established here for the past 20 years. The group of more than 350 individuals representing 18 local communities meets here once a month to reinforce this relationship.

"This council consists of representatives from the local area and is chartered to support Air Force Global Strike Command Whiteman personnel," said Jesse Kellock, BCC president. "Working alongside the military is a wonderful opportunity for civilian BCC members to work toward a mutual community interest."

The benefit goes both ways.

A squadron from the 509th Bomb Wing is assigned a community to get Airmen involved in local organizations and work with community members on various projects and events.

The BCC is comprised of the citizens of Whiteman AFB, the cities California, Clinton, Cole Camp, Columbia, Concordia, Higginsville, Holden, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Knob Noster, La Monte, Lexington, Lincoln, Marshall, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Warsaw and Windsor.

BCC luncheons are hosted by one or more communities and are scheduled the first Thursday of each month. The next BCC is March 8, and the featured communities will be Columbia, Mo. and California, Mo.

California is a family-oriented community, home to more than 4,000 residents and is strategically located in the central Missouri area, with access to business centers, shopping, activities, beautiful parks and the Moniteau County Fair according to www.cityofcalifornia.com.

"When the 325th Bomb Squadron was formed, California had not yet been matched with a squadron, so that match was made," said Joe Scallorns, BCC representative. "Early in the relationship, the Rural Fire District of California was building an additional firehouse. A number of volunteers from the 325th and other squadrons joined the local volunteers and they raised the building in one day. A couple of years later they were building a new firehouse in the southern edge of the district and volunteers from the 325th once again joined the locals and built the second one. The 325th was changed to the 13th but the relationship remained unchanged."

The 13th Bomb Squadron and California support one another.

The 13th BS, known as the Grim Reapers, is a team of professional warriors providing combat ready resources in support of America's interests. They support the combatant commanders to achieve unsurpassed global strike and global response capabilities around the globe -- anytime, anywhere, with the airpower to achieve campaign objectives.

"The relationship built and fostered through the years between our sister community of California and the 13th BS Grim Reapers and our predecessors, the 325th BS, is mutually beneficial," said Lt. Col. Mark Pye, 13th BS commander. "California's BCC representatives and civic leaders' unyielding support and hospitality has helped both our military members to better engage with our fellow citizens and make a positive difference in their community; it has also provided opportunities to impart how our Airmen's daily efforts aim to serve our nation. It is truly a 'win-win' proposition."

Military members are free to join the BCC and civilians wanting to know more about membership fees can contact the BCC treasurer at (660) 563-3011.