Whiteman Air Force Base Welcomed President Barack Obama

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WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE - President Barack Obama utilized the Whiteman Air Force Base as a landing and departure site for his Mid-Missouri visit Wednesday.

"It is an honor to have the Commander in Chief here," said Captain John Severns.

The president landed in a Boeing 747 with Senator Claire McCaskill and proceeded to shake hands with Governor Nixon.  He was also greeted by Vice Wing Commander Colonel Kristin Goodwin, Command Chief Master Sergeant Lee Barr, and Commander Colonel Michael Francis.

He then moved to a crowd of Air Force officers and their families to give high-fives, take pictures, and shake hands before leaving in his motorcade to the University of Central Missouri.

Captain Severns was a member of the planning team that helped prepare the base for the president's arrival.  He said he only found out about the president's visit Thursday.  He said there was a lot to do as they had to clean the base and work with the Secret Service on their security procedures.

The plane had its' jets running from touch down to take off.  The plane was ready to go the moment the president boarded.  President Obama was in Missouri for less than three hours and took off in Air Force One right before 6:30p.m.

The Whitemore Air Force Base is the only base in the world that houses B2 bombers.  Captain Severns said the base has two types of missions.  One is strategic deterrence meaning that having bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons in a stealthy manner on base will deter other nations from attacking the United States.  The other is using conventional weapons in countries the United States clashes with.  Captain Severns told KOMU 8 News in 2011, the base dropped 45 2,000 lb bombs in Libya destroying Muammar Gaddafi's entire air force on the ground in about 20 seconds before flying home.