509th Weather Flight is Ready, Rain or Shine!

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WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – From tornado warnings to flight scheduling, the 509th Operational Support Squadron Weather Flight keeps Whiteman Air Force Base safe and flying.

The Weather Flight’s ability to forecast unsafe weather conditions helps ensure mission readiness, flight safety, and the safety of everyone working and living on base.

“We provide watches, warnings and advisories, which keeps the base in the know about severe weather,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Luke Calvert, 509th OSS NCO in charge of airfield weather operations. “We also provide flight weather briefings for all B-2 Spirit pilots and T-38 Talon missions.”

The Weather Flight is a big part of the planning process that decides whether aircraft take off or stay grounded and ensures they only fly in appropriate conditions.

“We have a major impact on the mission,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Francesco Piscani-Daugherty, 509th OSS weather journeyman. “As a junior airman, it's pretty cool to be part of such an important process on this base.”

They also keep a tight lookout on severe weather conditions that disrupt life on base, from snowstorms to severe thunderstorms to tornadoes.

“We provide situational awareness for everything on base,” said Calvert. “Severe weather can definitely affect our lives and operations in this area, and we want to assure our Airmen are always ready.”

In April of 2022, the 509th Bomb Wing hosted the first iteration of Exercise Agile Tiger, a large-force exercise focused on Agile Combat Employment. Frequent rainstorms were a constant factor throughout the exercise.

Exercise Agile Tiger 22 was a pretty strenuous time for the Weather Flight, Calvert said. Conditions varied greatly and almost stopped the aircraft from flying.

“The group commander, the wing commander, and all the other pilots were with us when we were trying to gauge how severe the conditions actually were,” he said. “It ended up being severe turbulence, and it was definitely a razors edge on whether or not we flew.”

The pilots ended up flying during the exercise, but without the Weather Flight monitoring conditions, Calvert said that many of the flights could have been grounded due to storms.
By keeping an eye on the sky, the Weather Flight keeps Whiteman AFB informed, safe, and mission ready… rain or shine.