Whiteman Air Force Base is located in Knob Knoster, Missouri which is approximately 60 miles southeast of Kansas City, Missouri in rural Johnson County. The base is home to 3800 active duty military and 5000 family members. The base employs 902 civilian workers. The 509th Bomb Wing is housed at Whiteman and is responsible for operating and maintaining the B-2 bomber plane. The base is a joint tenant facility with military members from the Army, Navy and Air Force. In addition, the base also serves as home to the Missouri Army National Guard’s 1/135th Aviation Battalion and the Navy Reserve’s Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 114.
The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber has a rich history in recent combat situations. The stealth bomber was active in combat against Serbia, lead the military response to the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington DC, and was the first plane to enter war space in Afghanistan. Other aircraft housed at Whiteman include the A-10 Thunderbolt II ground fighter, the T-38 Talon jet trainer and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.
The present day location of Whiteman AFB began in 1942 as Sedalia Army Air Field. Throughout World War II, Sedalia Army Air Field was an operational location for the C-46 and C-47 transport planes. After the war was over, Sedalia Army Air Field was deactivated as were many other Army Air fields. Shortly after the closing of the facility, the Air Force became a separate military organization. In 1951 the Air Force chose to utilize the former Army Air field as a site for the Strategic Air Command and named the facility the Whiteman Air Force Base in honor of 2d Lieutenant George Whiteman. Whiteman was the first pilot to be killed in combat in Hawaii during the Pearl Harbor attack.
- Child Development Centers provide day care for children Monday thru Friday. Before and After School Programs are available on-base.
- Youth Services programs are available and affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club of America.
- Teen programs are available for grades 8-12.
- United Missouri Bank is located on-base as is a Federal credit union.
- Commissary and Base Exchange facilities.
- Comprehensive health care clinic on-base. Emergency treatment must be sought in nearby Warrensburg which is 12 miles from Whiteman. Specialist referrals are made to physicians in Kansas City or Sedalia, Missouri which is 20 miles away.
- There is an elementary school located on the base and it is operated by the Warrensburg School District. Middle School and High School Students are transported by bus to Warrensburg schools.
Temporary lodging is available at Whiteman Inn. There are currently 837 housing units available and an additional 90 units are being constructed. All units are either new, or have been extensively renovated since 2000. Each home has washer and dryer hook-ups, a garage, and stove and refrigerators are provided. The number of bedrooms available range from two bedrooms to four bedrooms and are divided into enlisted and officer quarters. The waiting periods for base housing varies from no wait to a 3 month wait, although most are available within 30 days. Military members from E-1 to Senior Officers are eligible to live in Whiteman housing.
Knob Knoster has a population of 2500 people. Nearby Warrensburg has a population of 16,500. Warrensburg is also home to University of Missouri-Warrensburg so educational opportunities are available in the immediate area. The area is known for rolling green hills and easy access to the Ozark Mountains and many rivers and streams. Sedalia, Missouri is relatively close to Whiteman AFB and the home of the Scott Joplin Music Festival and the State fair. The population of Sedalia is 20,000 and is known for tourism.