Community council connects mutual interests

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
(This is the second of a series highlighting the Base Community Council and this month's featured communities are Knob Noster, Holden and Marshall).

In the midst of the many changes seen at Whiteman over the years, one factor has remained constant - the relationship between the base and members of the Base Community Council.

For more than 20 years, Whiteman has been building and maintaining relationships within the 18 surrounding communities through the BCC, a community relations program.

"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 2010 Wings Over Whiteman Gala and Air Show was a chance for Team Whiteman to come together with community members.

BCC luncheons are hosted by one or more communities and are scheduled the first Thursday of each month. The next BCC is Thursday, and features the communities of: Knob Noster, Holden and Marshall.

Knob Noster
The city of Knob Noster is a small, rural, community, located just minutes from Knob Noster State Park near U.S. Highway 50. A short distance northeast of town there are two hills, called knobs. The hills have become a landmark for the community and are closely related to the organization and background of the town. Knob Noster is home to Whiteman, which sits at the edge of the city limits and primarily partners with Knob Noster and the 509th Maintenance Squadron.

"Our town is a close-knit community which values the relationship we have with military and all of the people affiliated with the Base," said Dana Cass, BCC representative. "Many of the active-duty personnel retire here and become permanent members of the Knob Noster community. We are proud of our first-class school district and the Knob Noster State Park, among other things."

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The city of Holden is a full-service community with a country atmosphere strategically located near the Ozarks and Kansas City. Holden has many recreational facilities such as the Holden City Lake and a community center.
The 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron and Holden support one another.

"Holden is a very strong family-oriented community where you know your neighbors," said William Dryer, BCC representative.

"The mutual support between Holden and the 72nd TES allows each of us to lend a hand in times of need or stress," said Lt. Col. Richard Bohn, 72nd Test and Evaluation commander.
"There is no doubt in my mind Holden would go to any length to support the 72nd or Whiteman."

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The city of Marshall is a small town located centrally in the heart of Missouri between Kansas City and St. Louis. This farming community is steeped in history from the charming Victorian homes to the site of the Civil War Battle of Marshall.

"We are a proud community of agriculture background, having some of the finest farming in the state of Missouri," said Charles Cooper, BCC representative.

The 509th Force Support Squadron and Marshall support one another.

"My squadron treasures its affiliation with Marshall, a city in an idyllic setting with a rich history and wonderful Midwestern values," said Lt. Col. David Stanfield, 509th FSS commander. "We are working to partner with city leaders on community projects to show our appreciation for their tremendous support to the men and women who work at Whiteman."

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The BCC is comprised of the citizens of Whiteman, 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.

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