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509th BW commander recalls Tournament of Roses history

From left, U.S. Air Force Capts Britt Hatley and Capt. Jeffery Schreiner, 393rd Bomb Squadron pilots, sign B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber lithographs at the Air Force Experience and Air Force recruiting demonstration, for the Rose Bowl’s Fan Fest attendees in Pasadena, California, Jan. 1, 2002.

From left, U.S. Air Force Capts Britt Hatley and Capt. Jeffery Schreiner, 393rd Bomb Squadron pilots, sign B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber lithographs at the Air Force Experience and Air Force recruiting demonstration, for the Rose Bowl’s Fan Fest attendees in Pasadena, California, Jan. 1, 2002. This image was scanned from an archival photo. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Capt. Angie Jaskiewicz)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --

The Tournament of Roses flyovers represent a more than 15-year relationship between the Missouri-based Airmen and communities and organizations across the nation. These flyovers also have a special, personal significance to Col. Jeffery Schreiner, 509th Bomb Wing commander.

Schreiner, who leads the operation, support and maintenance of America’s B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber fleet, continued his own longstanding involvement with the TOR, Jan. 1, 2020.

“I have had the rare opportunity to participate in the Tournament of Roses on three separate occasions,” Schreiner said. “As a pilot executing the flyovers, ground crew coordinating the flyovers and as the Whiteman Air Force Base commander.”

This year, he became the first base commander to participate in all three roles. In each role he played an important part in demonstrating the 509 BW’s commitment to innovation, precision air power and building partnerships.

“Each role comes with different demands and I have always loved flying and soaring above our nation’s famous stadiums and arenas, but the honor of leading a wing and representing such a special team is unrivaled,” he said. “I value the privilege and opportunity of representing our hardworking, talented Airmen on a larger stage. Our Airmen motivate me and I enjoy sharing their stories.”

Schreiner said flyovers inspire and entertain viewers, but they are also training missions that enable the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate and ensure vital, national defense and combat capabilities.

“Each flyover you witness is a complete training mission designed to test our pilots and validate their skills as combat aviators,” Schreiner said. “We do not plan and execute sorties for the sole purpose of flyovers.”

During his distinguished piloting career, Schreiner has participated in many flyovers, honing his abilities and fostering community relationships, however his favorite memory is the TOR flyover in 2004.

“In a historic event, we had the F-22 Raptor and the F-117 Nighthawk on our wings that day,” Schreiner said. “I believe it was a one-of-kind event never repeated before the retirement of the F-117 a few years later. To be part of showcasing three generations of stealth technology on the world stage is tough to match.”

Every year, Whiteman AFB showcases the impressive capabilities of its multiple airframes not only during the TOR, but also during airshows, parades, presidential speeches and sporting events. Below is a list of the up-coming flyovers for 2020.

  • March 28-29, March AFB, CA airshow, T-38 Talon flyover
  • March 28-29, Macdill AFB, FL airshow, T-38 Talon flyover
  • March 31, Texas Rangers home opener, B-2 Spirit flyover
  • April 2, KC Royal home opener, B-2 Spirit flyover
  • May 9 or 10, Dyess AFB airshow, B-2 Spirit flyover
  • May 24, Indy 500, B-2 Spirit flyover
  • June 13-14, Wing Over Whiteman airshow, T-38 Talon and B-2 Spirit