Whiteman Air Force Base Guide
Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster, Missouri, is home to the 509th Bomb Wing and the B-2 Spirit Bomber. It’s a 70-minute drive from Kansas City; Whiteman employs 4,000 active duty military members, 5,000 family members, plus approximately 1000 civilian employees and contractors.
Whiteman Air Force Base History
Whiteman AFB today is fairly unrecognizable compared to its early operations in 1942 as Sedalia Army Airfield.
At the end of World War Two, Sedalia remained operational, supporting Army C-46 and C-47 transport aircraft missions until the Air Force became a separate military branch on September 18, 1947.
1951 Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) took over the airfield. It brought a new bomb wing and tanker refueling mission before activating the 340th Bomb Wing the following year.
In 1955 the installation was redesignated. Enter Whiteman Air Force Base, named after Missouri resident 2nd Lieutenant George Whiteman; he was one of the first Americans killed in combat during World War Two. Whiteman died after being shot down while flying a P-40 fighter aircraft.
In the 1960s, Whiteman Air Force Base became a Minuteman Missile base, a precursor of things to come. According to the DoD, the 509th Bomb Wing relocated to Whiteman from Pease AFB, New Hampshire in 1990.
The relocation also included the 509th becoming the host wing. In 1993 the base ended its Minuteman mission in favor of the B-2 Bomber, which operates today with both conventional and nuclear munitions.
Whiteman AFB Surrounding Area
The city of Knob Noster has approximately 3 thousand. Warrensburg, some 14 miles away, is a larger community with a population of more than 20 thousand.
Knob Noster State Park is an outdoor recreation hub in the local area, the Royal Oaks Golf Course is a good family-friendly destination, and there is local wine at Montserrat Vineyards.
Knob Noster is a community described by many as “quiet.” If you’re looking for more nightlife, events, or sports, it pays to explore the nearby cities you have access to from the base.
Whiteman AFB is a three and a half hours drive from St. Louis, Missouri, and about 70 minutes from Kansas City. These are destination cities for major league sports, live music performances, and other performing arts. Busch Stadium in St. Louis and the Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City are both worth the drive.
Mission and Units at Whiteman AFB
At Whiteman AFB, the 509th Bomb Wing (under the jurisdiction of Air Force Global Strike Command) operates and maintains the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, which flies missions with both conventional and nuclear weapons.
Important missions and units at Whiteman AFB have included:
- 131st Bomb Wing
- 1ST Battalion 135th Aviation Missouri Army National Guard
- 20th Reconnaissance Squadron
- 393rd Bomb Squadron
- 394th Combat Training Squadron
- 442nd Fighter Wing AFRES
- 509 Civil Engineer Squadron
- 509th Communications Squadron
- 509th Contracting Squadron
- 509th Force Support Squadron
- 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 509th Maintenance Operations Squadron
- 509th Medical Group – 509 MDG
- 509th Operations Squadron – 509 MDOS
- 509th Security Forces Squadron
- 709th Munitions Squadron
Whiteman AFB In-Processing and Check-In
If you are traveling to Whiteman AFB on PCS orders, check in with your gaining unit on arrival. Your Command Support Staff will give you an appointment schedule for in-processing, which begins at the Whiteman Welcome Center in Building 527.
According to the DoD, “The Whiteman Welcome Center will ensure you and your family in-process through Military Personnel, Finance, Housing, TMO and Medical.”
Coordinate your arrival with your sponsor, and if you do not have a sponsor assigned, contact your gaining unit for assistance.
Whiteman AFB offers child care at the Susie Skelton Child Development Center (CDC). There are also options via the Family Child Care program or FCC, which is supervised care in on-base homes accredited by the Family Child Care plan.
CDC care is unavailable here on weekends and holidays.CDC care is offered for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Fees & Charges are based on total family income and are adjusted yearly.
Call the Family Child Care office at (660) 687-5588. Waiting lists may apply for on-base care due to high demand; it’s best to contact the Whiteman AFB CDC once you have orders to the base.
Related: Military Child Care Guide
Whiteman AFB has more than 800 housing units. Base housing here is privatized and operated by Balfour Beatty Communities.
Demand for on-base homes is high, and waiting lists will apply. Contact the Whiteman AFB Housing Office when you have orders: call 660-687-0559 to learn how to sign up.
All PCSing troops coming to Whiteman should also use resources on the Air Force Housing website or call the 509th Civil Engineer Squadron Housing Management team at 660-687-4418 or DSN 975-4418.
Related: BAH Calculator
PCS and TDY Lodging
Temporary lodging for those traveling on orders is in high demand here; expect to contact the Reservation Desk at the Whiteman Inn as soon as you have orders.
Limited space-available lodging may be possible, but demand is high, and this is not an option for many. Pet-friendly rooms may not be available–ask in advance.
Due to demand, you may attempt to check into the Whiteman Inn only to be given a letter of non-availability. This letter allows you to use commercial lodging at government expense.
Do not assume you are authorized to stay off-base unless you obtain this letter of non-availability. Make reservations: 660-687-1844 or DSN 312-975-1844.
If you travel TDY or are PCSing to Whiteman AFB, you’ll typically arrive at Kansas City International Airport.
There is a 90-mile drive from the airport to the base, so it’s crucial to coordinate your arrival with your sponsor. Taxi service and ride-sharing from Kansas City International may cost hundreds of dollars, so planning ahead is key if you don’t want the expense.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
All privately owned vehicles operating on Whiteman AFB must carry minimum car insurance, safety devices, and current title/registration.
There is a “heavily enforced” 30mph speed limit on base. You are not required at press time to have a base decal or sticker to enter the base.\
Schools at Whiteman AFB
There are no DoD schools at Whiteman AFB, but there is a school on base operated by the Knob Noster School District. In town, there is a second elementary school, middle school, and high school in Knob Noster.
Nearby school districts include Warrensburg and Sedalia, but you may be required to enroll new students based on where you live.
If you are enrolling a new student, be prepared to furnish copies of shot records, Social Security Numbers, enrollment records from prior schools, and any applicable transcripts.
Contact the Whiteman AFB School Liaison office for help with registration procedures or other information: 660-687-7664.
Related: Ultimate GI Bill Benefits Guide
Colleges and Universities
The Whiteman AFB Education Center offers classes from three different institutions of higher learning:
- State Fair Community College
- Park University
- University of Central Missouri
You can also get help with distance learning from these or other accredited universities. Contact the Whiteman AFB Education Center at 660-687-5750. In the local area, Missouri Valley College, Kansas City Art Institute, and Metropolitan Community College are within 60 miles of the base.
Whiteman Air Force Base
750 Arnold Ave
Whiteman AFB, MO 65305
Important Whiteman AFB Contact Numbers
- Barracks (660) 687-5662
- Civilian Personnel Office (660) 687-5007
- Commissary Shoppette (660) 563-5445
- Child Development Center (660) 687-5588
- Counseling for Adults, Military and Family Life Consultants (660) 251-1949
- Counseling for Children, Military and Family Life Consultants (660) 624-0307
- EFMP Enrollment (660) 687-4780
- Emergency 911
- Emergency Relief Services (660) 687-7132
- Family Advocacy Program (FAP) (660) 687-4342
- Family Center (660) 687-7132
- Family Member Emp. Assistance Program (660) 687-7132
- New Parent Support Program (660) 687-4342
- Relocation Program (660) 687-7132
- Victim Advocate Services (660) 687-7272
- Housing Office Government Housing (660) 687-4418
- ID CAC Card Processing (660) 687-6426
- Information and Referral Services (660) 687-7132
- Housing Management Office (660) 687-4418
- Housing Referral Office (660) 687-4421
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.