WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
Tucked away in Whiteman Air Force Base's vehicle maintenance building, four Airmen from the Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing are living up to the idea of total force integration.
The Airmen, who work in the vehicle maintenance section of the 131st Logistics Readiness Squadron, have a crucial mission for the wing, said Senior Master Sgt. Brandon Buser.
"If the ground vehicles aren't there to support the mission, then the planes can't fly," Buser said.
With more than 20 of years of service, including 12 years with the 131st Bomb Wing, Buser is the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Logistics Readiness Squadron's vehicle maintenance section.
Buser said his mission upon arriving at Whiteman was to integrate the 131st into the Whiteman team.
"My goal was that people would not be able to tell the difference between the Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty," Buser said.
A few short years later, he said he feels he has accomplished just that. He and his team routinely work with Airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing and the 442nd Fighter Wing, often on each other's equipment.
At their May drill, Buser and his team, Senior Airman John Hall and Tech. Sgt. Jeff Long, were replacing a wiring component on a truck belonging to the 509th. Both Airmen came to the 131st from other Whiteman units, Buser said.
Hall recently transitioned from Active Duty to the Guard, while Long came to the 131st from the 442nd. Buser said the pair brought with them a wealth of knowledge, and are excited to continue their service in their new unit.
Hall, who was transitioning from active duty, said he decided to join the Air National Guard after working side-by-side with Missouri's Citizen-Airmen.
"I saw the respect the Guard received on base," Hall said. "Now, I want to take the skills I've learned and translate them into a civilian job while still serving."
The skills the team uses are in high demand, said Buser, who works as a mechanic in his civilian career.
"Our positions here help in the civilian work force because we get to work on a lot of different vehicles," said Buser. "Fleet mechanic jobs are some of the best out there."
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