Missouri Air Guard associates with Whiteman AFB B-2 Bombers

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Missouri Air Guard associates with Whiteman AFB B2 bombers

The Missouri Air National Guard will assume an Associate role in the world's only B-2, long-range stealth bomber mission, located at Whiteman Air Force Base, as announced today.

"Establishing an Air National Guard B-2 Associate mission is very exciting for the Missouri Air National Guard," said Maj. Gen. King Sidwell, Missouri National Guard adjutant general. "While the military is transforming to meet current and future objectives, we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to remain an effective part of the total force."

As part of the Air Force Future Total Force concept, the Associate unit program serves as an important and cost-effective force multiplier for the Air Force by pairing units of different components to share active duty aircraft and equipment.

Currently, the Missouri Air National Guard has two flying missions, which were both affected by the recent Base Realignment and Closure plan. The 139th Airlift wing in St. Joseph will expand its fleet of C-130 aircraft and the 131st Fighter Wing, in St. Louis, will lose its F-15 aircraft sometime before 2011, as a result of BRAC.

The relationship between the Missouri Air National Guard and the 509th Bomb Wing is expected to be a Classic Associate. A Classic Associate mission is an integration model where an active duty component unit retains principal responsibility for weapons systems, which it shares with one or more reserve component units. Active and reserve component units retain separate organizational structures and chains of command. Varying levels of functional integration occur through specific memorandums of understanding. 

The benefits of the Associate model include:
-- Generates efficiency by sharing resources, reducing duplication of efforts, and in some cases, reducing the number of individuals needed to accomplish a task. 
-- Provides contingency surge capability.
-- Helps maintain aircrew and maintenance expertise and experience levels by capitalizing on active duty Air Force investment in training and exploit Guard and Reserve resident experience.
-- Reduces peacetime training hours (cost savings) because of the higher experience levels of the reserve component.
-- Preserves a corporate body of knowledge that balances turnover in active duty units, and enhances retention and recruitment for the Total Force through personnel cross-flow.