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131st Fighter Wing transitions to 131st Bomb Wing

Brig. Gen. Craig D. McCord, Col. Robert L. Leeker, Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, and Congressman Ike Skelton participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the transition of the 131st Fighter Wing to the 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman, AFB. (Photo By: Tech. Sgt. Megan Hunter)

Brig. Gen. Craig D. McCord, Col. Robert L. Leeker, Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, and Congressman Ike Skelton participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the transition of the 131st Fighter Wing to the 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman, AFB. (Photo By: Tech. Sgt. Megan Hunter)

Lambert IAP -- The 131st Fighter Wing formally recognized it's transition to the 131st Bomb Wing in a ribbon cutting ceremony held Oct. 4 at Whiteman, AFB.

The ceremony celebrated the first official drill for traditional guardsmen at Whiteman and the grand opening of building 3006, the 131st Bomb Wing's headquarters there.

"We are proud of our members and proud of our lineage as we transition from an Air National Guard Fighter Wing to a Classic Associate Bomb Wing," Col. Robert L. Leeker, 131st BW commander, said.

Brig. Gen. Craig D. McCord, Missouri Air National Guard commander, explained, "This transition will serve as a template for the future of Air Force and Air National Guard integration."

Congressman Ike Skelton described how this integration between the Air Force and Air National Guard is a "dream come true" for the Air Force, Air National Guard and himself. The Missouri Air National Guard and the Air Force will come together and "like a marriage their two hearts can beat as one."

"Today signifies the coming together of one of the finest Active Duty bases and one of the finest Air National Guard bases in the Air Force," said Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, 509th BW commander. "You will join us as brothers and sisters and no enemy of America will have sanctuary anywhere in the world."

Members from the 131st FW have been transitioning to Whiteman since the summer of 2007. The 131st has about 10 B-2 pilots fully qualified and over 80 personnel currently working at Whiteman.

"The 509th BW and 131st BW are a premier team," said Colonel Leeker. "And together we can hunt down and destroy America's enemies."