Multi-Faceted Citizen-Airmen Train for a Multi-Faceted MOANG Mission
By Col. Michael J. Francis, 131st Bomb Wing Commander
/ Published June 12, 2015
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- The Citizen-Airmen of the 131st Bomb Wing are multi-faceted; like all Airmen, they bring technical prowess to their AFSCs; airpower awareness in our profession of arms; and the integrity, service and excellence of our Air Force values. But unique from other Airmen, they also lead and serve in civilian careers that they pursue outside of their Guard roles.
Like its Airmen, the 131st Bomb Wing itself is also multi-faceted. We're unprecedented in the entire Air National Guard to be the sole ANG wing entrusted with the strategic nuclear bombing capability unique to the B-2 Spirit platform. As awe-inspiring as that mission is, there's an equally important home-front mission unique only to the Guard: to be an on-call emergency response force for our home state.
Since 2009, the Missouri National Guard has responded to more than 15 state missions involving almost 6,000 Citizen-Airmen and Citizen-Soldiers. For our Airmen, this role was trained and tested during the various activities of the 131st's Annual Training Week 2015 these past few days:
· At Camp Clark in southwest Missouri, almost 200 of our Airmen trained to fill sandbags, drive convoys, recover from a Humvee rollover and navigate by land, amongst other skills;
· More than 50 others set up and worked from an expeditionary tent city here on Whiteman;
· The computer network and communication needs of both operations were supported by our 239th Combat Communications Squadron from Jefferson Barracks;
· A contingent of the wing travelled across the state to meet their functional counterparts and to learn firsthand the role that the Missouri Guard's Joint Operations Center plays;
· Innumerous others accomplished recurring and upgrade training requirements and honed their readiness skills, in their workcenters and shops across Whiteman and across the state.
If the Missouri governor calls us, the wing has committed to mobilize and dispatch 50 Airmen within a four-hour window, to anywhere in the state. Hundreds more Airmen could be called as needed to fall in behind this initial presence, to come to the aid and protection of thousands of our friends and neighbors.
After a devastating tornado, a raging flood, a grinding ice storm or other critical event, the competent and compassionate care that our Airmen render in this emergency response work gives our Missouri neighbors, friends and family great comfort.
Honing this capability through the fantastic training that our Citizen-Airmen accomplished this week ensures that we are well-prepared to perform our state emergency response mission, anytime, anywhere.