By Senior Airman Montse Belleau
509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Brig. Gen. Thomas Bussiere assumed command of the 509th Bomb Wing from Brig. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm in a ceremony here Monday, transferring the leadership of America’s only B-2 wing.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Wilson, 8th Air Force commander, who presided over the ceremony, commended the accomplishments of General Vander Hamm and challenged General Bussiere and the men and women of the 509th to continue the wing’s legacy of excellence.
“General Bussiere, welcome back again for the fourth time,” General Wilson said. “As [Vander Hamm] departs, sustaining and improving the 509th Bomb Wing’s vital mission and preparing the next generation, now falls directly to you.”
General Bussiere returns to Whiteman from Barksdale AFB, La., where he was the Air Force Global Strike Command Inspector General.
“I can’t tell you how honored I am to be before you today for the most sacred responsibility an officer can have in our Air Force,” said General Bussiere, moments after accepting the guideon from General Wilson. “It’s good to be back, Missouri is a very special place for me and Barbara and we look forward to getting reacquainted with each and every one of you.
“Our mission is simple, it is to fly, fight and win,” General Bussiere added. “The mission of the B-2 is to hold at risk any target on the planet, anywhere, anytime, and this wing has proven time and time again you do it very well. So together, we will foster our warrior Airmen ethos; together we will develop the culture, conviction, character, ethic and spirit of our warrior Airmen. Together we will care for our warrior Airmen and their families; together we will fly, fight and win.”
A command pilot with more than 3,310 flying hours in the T-38A, AT-38B, F-15 A/B/C/D and B-2A, General Bussiere is no stranger to Whiteman and the 509th. During his previous assignments as 325th Bomb Squadron Commander from 2004-2005 and 13th Bomb Squadron Commander from 2005-2006 he led B-2 combat missions during operations Allied Force and Iraqi Freedom.
General Vander Hamm leaves Whiteman for Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas, where he will become the Headquarters Director of Plans Programs and Requirements.
“I want to personally thank the local communities for the support they gave Team Whiteman during my command here,” General Vander Hamm said. “The relationships we foster with the surrounding communities, our neighbors, are invaluable. It has been an honor for Joanna and I to work so closely with so many, building relationships here that will last a lifetime.” Photos courtesy Whiteman AFB Public Affairs.