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New 509th Bomb Wing commander speaks to Whiteman BCC

April 7, 2014

in Military

GlenVanherckBy Mel Bockelman
Chief Master Sgt, USAF,Ret

Being transferred to Whiteman AFB is not new to Brig. General Glen VanHerck and his wife Marilyn; they have been stationed here two times before. This is the third time, but he comes this time as a Brigidare General and as the Commander of the 509th Bomb Wing.

As General VanHerck settles into his office in Wing Headquarters on Spirit Boulevard, the General is aware of the awesome responsibility placed on his shoulders as Commander of one of America’s advanced weapon system.

On Thursday, April 3, General VanHerck appeared before the Whiteman Base Community Council at Mission Inn to renew friendship with some old acquaintances and to meet some new.

General VanHerck said that the job here at Whiteman is “pretty straight forward.” The mission of Team Whiteman is to provide strategic deterrence to the United States with our weapons system thru the Joint Combatant Commanders throughout the world. The General said Russia’s Vladimir Putkin certainly is knowledgeable of our strategic deterrence as he deliberates Russia’s strategies in the world of today.

Team Whiteman , consisting of maintainers, civil engineers, medical and other combat support units, certainly makes this all possible. The General believes that security has changed a lot in response to changing tactics of our adversaries. Twenty six years ago, the Air Force had 600,00 officers and airmen. Today, we have half that many, but our responsibilities haven’t been reduced.

As one of America’s armed forces, the General believes that the U.S. Air Force has got to get control of discrimination and sexual exploitation. These are not characteristics of a nation in which citizens respect each other,

In regard to our fiscal responsibilities, our nation has about 17 ½ billion dollars in debt. If we did away with the Department of Defense budget for 30 years, we still would not be able to pay off our nation’s debt. Sequestration, if Congress allows it to continue, will cut deeply into our nation combat readiness, starting with next year’s budget. We are still recovering from a shortage of some supply parts from last year. It will be more serious if sequestration continues. Gen. VanHerck believes that The U S Air Force is fortunate to have as our Chief of Staff, General Mark Welsch. The General has a strategic view of where we are now and where we ought to be five to 10 years down the road.

The BCC president announced that the next BCC meeting will be May 1.

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