Rank: No. 7
Nuclear Warheads: 550
AIR FORCE BASE
MISSOURI ranks 7th (tie) in number of nuclear weapons deployed, a rise from
21st since 1992. Whiteman AFB, west of Jefferson City is home to the new
B-2 Spirit bombers of the 509th Bomb Wing of the Air Force Air
Combat Command. The 150 Minuteman II ICBMs previously deployed around Whiteman
have been retired.
Nuclear weapons stored at Whiteman AFB include 200 B61-7 bombs, 50 new B61-11
earth penetrator bombs, and 300 high-yield B83 bombs. As the
primary nuclear penetrating bomber, the B-2 does not carry any air-launched
The 509th Wing returned to operational status on 1 April 1993, the initial
cadre coming from Detachment 509, 351st Missile Wing, which was inactivated.
On December 17, 1993, the wings first B-2 arrived at Whiteman. It was
dubbed the Spirit of Missouri. During 1994, four additional bombers arrived
at Whiteman (17 and 31 August, 29 October, 30 December), and the first bomber
was extensively tested to practice nuclear bomb loading.
The 509th (and the subordinate 509th Security Police Squadron) was awarded
excellent and outstanding ratings in the 1994 NSI and the Wing received a
USAF Nuclear Surety Plaque for demonstrating outstanding capability
to support a nuclear airlift mission.
Three more planes were added in 1995 (17 February, 28 June, and 14 November)
and the first B-2 returned to Northrop Grummans Palmdale, CA assembly
plant to undergo upgrading to Block 30 status. In 1996, the ninth through
13th bombers arrived (11 and 24 January, 16 May, 3 July, and 17 December).
On January 1, 1996, the Air Force announced that the B-2 fleet was operational
for use in a conventional bombing role. From June 10-17, 1996, a Quality
Air Force Assessment (QAFA) was conducted at Whiteman.
Preparations for permanent nuclear certification of the B-2 Wing at Whiteman
began in August 1993 with an Air Combat Command Nuclear Staff Assistance
Visit (NSAV). These were continued in March 1995, September 1995, January
1996, and September 1996. Between January 21-27, 1997, the first wing Nuclear
Surety Inspection was held. After nuclear certification, on 19 February,
the wing conducted its first nuclear war generation exercise
to practice rapid take-off of aircraft in response to an alert order. The
B-2s were added to the nuclear war plans.