3/17/2006 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Air Force officials announced March 16 that the 131st Fighter Wing at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis will join the elite B-2 mission at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.
The announcement means the 131st Fighter Wing's Airmen will team up with the world's only B-2 long-range stealth bomber mission located at Whiteman AFB. The move will pair the 131st's Guard unit air crew, maintainers and support staff with the current active-duty B-2 unit. The 131st was selected from Air National Guard units nationwide to support the B-2s.
"I am pleased that the U.S. Air Force found a way to preserve the 131st, one of the most experienced and proven Air Guard units in the country," said U.S. Senator Kit Bond. "To be chosen from Air Guard units across the country, this announcement is a real honor for the 131st."
"Establishing an Air National Guard B-2 Associate mission is very exciting for the Missouri Air National Guard," said Maj. Gen. King Sidwell, Missouri National Guard adjutant general. "While the military is transforming to meet current and future objectives, we are prepared to do whatever necessary to remain an effective part of the total force."
The decision was made as part of Air Force's Total Force Integration Plan. Besides preserving the 131st, one of the most experienced units in combat and flight hours, the move helps ensure the Air National Guard remains a part of the total force as it participates in one of the Air Force's most elite and relevant missions.