Community council shows membership support

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
For more than 20 years, Whiteman has been building and maintaining relationships within 18 surrounding communities through a community relations program called the Base Community Council.

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

As stated in previous BCC articles, 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.

BCC luncheons are hosted by one or more communities and are scheduled the first Thursday of each month with one evening social at the end of the calendar year.

The next BCC event is the annual membership social tonight and features the communities of Cole Camp and Warsaw, Mo.

Prior to the social, BCC members are encouraged to stop by the Whiteman Visitor's Center so that a new ID card can be made for them. The social offers an opportunity for members to network and socialize as well as update any information with the 509th BW Public Affairs Office.

Cole Camp, Mo.
Cole Camp is a historic town located where the Ozarks meet the great prairies in Benton County. It is dated from its first post office in 1839, and is said to be the site of one of the first battles of the Civil War. The town boasts buildings dating from pre-Civil War times and the downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places according to the Cole Camp website

"Cole Camp offers festivals and special events throughout the year bringing enjoyment to our local residents and visitors alike," said Storm Walker, Cole Camp's BCC representative. "The town's German heritage is apparent in the well-kept homes, clean streets and manicured yards. Since the beginning of the Civil War, the town has supported our great nation. This patriotism continues with our support of Whiteman and all members of the services."

The 509th Medical Operations Squadron and Cole Camp support one another.

"The Cole Camp community has consistently supported Team Whiteman through participation in important activities to assist our Airmen such as Project Cinderella," said Lt. Col. Francis Holland, 509th MDOS commander. "Moreover, the Cole Camp community has boosted the morale of our deployed warriors in Afghanistan through correspondence and care packages. The 509th MDOS greatly appreciates the affection that Cole Camp has shown for Team Whiteman."

Warsaw, Mo.
Warsaw is located at the junction of Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Lake. Members of the 509th Communications Squadron come to Warsaw each October to help with the annual Heritage Days Festival, according to Carolyn Sanford, Warsaw's BCC representative.

"They drive gators carrying attendees up and down the hill from the many craft tents set up in the harbor area," she said. "This visit gives them an opportunity to learn about the recreational opportunities available to them - swimming, boating or fishing on one of the lakes, year round hunting, and the many trails for hiking and biking.

"There are also equestrian trails available in the area. In addition, we have lots of unique antique and gift shops, flea markets and restaurants," she said.

Ms. Sanford said she looks forward to getting to know Team Whiteman and sharing experiences.

"The 509th Communication Squadron recently had the wonderful opportunity to support the great city of Warsaw with the Heritage Days celebration," said Lt. Col. Tim Huang, 509th CS commander. "For two days in the middle of October each year, literally thousands of people from all over the country descend upon Warsaw to celebrate and honor the traditions, ingenuity and skills our ancestors used. Some of these were visible in the form of clothes, quilts, arts and crafts as well as in the tasty treats."

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

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