Agreement Leads to UCM Aviation Courses at Whiteman Air Force Base
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Oct. 29, 2012) – Airmen who have postsecondary education needs or who are simply interested in new University of Central Missouri courses such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) will soon have opportunities at Whiteman Air Force Base through a recent agreement with UCM. The university plans to begin offering academic aviation programs at Whiteman in January 2013.
The agreement was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding signed this month by UCM President Charles Ambrose and Brigadier General Thomas Bussiere, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing. The brief signing ceremony took place at Whiteman’s Professional Development Building, 511 Spirit Blvd. This is the same site that will provide instructional and office space to meet academic classroom, advisement and enrollment needs as the base and UCM work jointly to serve military students and their dependents. The MOU also reflects needs such as library and computer support for the academic program.
“We put great effort in time, resources, and money to make sure our airmen get the best opportunity to further their education and become better airmen and better citizens,” Bussiere said during the signing ceremony. “Bringing UCM onboard at Whiteman is one more step in that direction. It’s one more step in building a greater partnership with UCM.”
Ambrose stressed that offering academic degrees at the base is part of the university’s Whiteman Advantage initiative to provide opportunities to help active duty personnel move up the career ladder or prepare them for life after the military. He praised the leadership of Tony Monetti, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and seasoned
B-2 pilot who now serves as UCM’s assistant dean of aviation and executive director of the Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport. After beginning his new role in August, Monetti worked with his colleagues in UCM’s Department of Aviation, the College of Business and Professional Studies and the base Education Services Office to make new opportunities at Whiteman possible.
“We knew leadership would emerge from the Whiteman community, but we didn’t know it would emerge with quite the vigor and gusto that (Lt.) Colonel Monetti brings to us. We take this as one of those quantum steps for UCM. It allows us to solidify some our relationships and we’re very grateful.”
According to Monetti, UCM will offer a baccalaureate degree in aviation with options that include, Professional Pilot, Airport Management and Flight Operations. Active duty personnel can apply their military benefits, including tuition assistance, to take advantage of these courses.
“Our first classes will be Introduction to Aeronautics and Private Pilot Ground School, which will be followed by Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Systems and Aviation Maintenance Management in
March 2013,” Monetti said. “The full catalog of UCM aviation online classes is available to Whiteman personnel and our on-base coordinator will assist students in class selection, enrollment, and financial aid.”
Still in the planning stage, Monetti noted his goal for the partnership between Whiteman and UCM is to provide actual flight training and use of UCM aircraft on base to aid airmen in pursuit of their flight certificates. This would include Sport Pilot, Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor certification.
“While the Air Force has training for their pilots on military aircraft, this new partnership allows them to learn and grow their civilian credentials. This helps Air Force pilots to prepare for a second career after their military service,” Monetti said. He also noted that the dependents of military personnel would have access to such educational opportunities.
Individuals who want to know more about UCM’s aviation courses and degree opportunities at Whiteman should call Monetti at 660-543-4949.