Home Away From Home

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Joseph Garcia
  • 509 Bomb Wing
Moving from one base to another can be a difficult process. Luckily, bases do everything they can to make this transition as smooth as possible, including providing lodging for Airmen while they are getting settled in at their new base.

The Whiteman Inn is where Airmen and their families can expect to stay when first arriving at Whiteman Air Force Base. Airmen and civilians with the 509th Force Support Squadron make sure their stay is as comfortable as possible.

“The front desk does a great job of making sure people know their options, whether it’s a single Airman or their entire family,” said U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Dean Light, 509th FSS, Support Sustainment Services flight commander. “We’ve had Airmen with 10 children come in and our staff here makes sure to accommodate those needs.”

When Airmen first move to Whiteman, they need a place to stay so they can get processed into the base while also looking for a permanent place to live. Whiteman Inn provides that place for Airmen whether they are transitioning alone or with a family.

These accommodations are always a top focus for the Whiteman Inn staff, especially during busier times of the year.

From April to October the hotel can expect an influx of both Military personnel moving to Whiteman from other bases and visiting families. To accommodate this increase in guests the staff ensure that rooms are clean and ready around the clock.

“We always inform housekeeping to make sure that all the rooms are clean every day because we never know who’s coming in,” said Eden Kurashima Hawkins, Whiteman Inn guest services manager. “Sometimes we only expect a few people then end up with more during the day.”

These busier times of the year are a perfect learning experience for both FSS Airmen and civilian workers alike.

Whiteman Inn will soon be staffed by civilians only as a cost-effective measure, but there are still Airmen who are assigned to work with lodging for training purposes.

As Airmen ascend through the ranks, this experience becomes more important.

“It’s really important experience because there's a lot of times when Airmen can get bogged down in one section and only used to that routine,” said Light. “Coming over here and getting a different routine is nice for them because it prepares them for being in a leadership position down the road.”

Whiteman Inn also provides lodging to senior leader service members and civilians visiting the base on official business to visit the home of the world’s only operational stealth bomber each year.

Whether it’s temporarily housing to newly arrived Airmen, rounding out the training of 509th FSS Airmen, or providing a comfortable bed for distinguished visitors for a few nights, Whiteman Inn is essential to the 509th Bomb Wing’s mission of global strike… anytime, anywhere.