By Mike Greife, April 6, 2016
WARRENSBURG, MO – Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets IV, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, will be honored as the 31st recipient of the James C. Kirkpatrick Excellence in Governance Award at the University of Central Missouri.
The UCM Student Government Association will honor Tibbets with the award at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the James C. Kirkpatrick Library at UCM. The award is presented annually to recognize individual commitment to public education and leadership and governance in the surrounding community.
The public is invited to attend the event.
Tibbets is responsible for the combat readiness of the Air Force's only B-2 Spirit wing, including development and employment of the B-2's combat capability as part of the Air Force's Global Strike Task Force.In his leadership role, Tibbets also plays a key role in the close and beneficial relationship between Whiteman Air Force Base and UCM.
His command provides logistics support for the Air Force Reserve 442nd Fighter Wing, Missouri Air National Guard 131st Bomb Wing, Air Combat Command 20th Reconnaissance Squadron and the Missouri Army National Guard 1st Battalion, 135th Aviation Unit. He manages flying assets in excess of $46 billion and an annual operations and maintenance budget of $147 million.
Tibbets was commissioned through the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1989. Following graduation, he served in a variety of operational assignments as a B-1 pilot and subsequently as a B-2 pilot. He has commanded at the squadron and wing levels and flown in combat missions in support of operations in Southwest Asia, the Balkans and Afghanistan.
His staff assignments include executive assistant to the Commander, Eighth Air Force, Chief of the Nuclear Policy Branch at NATO Headquarters. Prior to his current position, he was Deputy Director for Nuclear Operations, U.S. Strategic Command. Tibbets is a command pilot with more than 3,800 flying hours.
The James C. Kirkpatrick Excellence in Governance Award honors the legacy of the late James C. Kirkpatrick, who served as Missouri’s secretary of state from 1965 to 1985, establishing the Missouri record for tenure of an elected state officeholder. An alumnus of UCM and former member and president of the university’s Board of Regents, Kirkpatrick was named UCM’s Distinguished University Fellow upon his retirement and return to Warrensburg from Jefferson City.
Past recipients of the award include U.S. Congressman Ike Skelton, U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, U.S. Sen. John Danforth, Gov. Mel Carnahan, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, and Missouri State Sen. David Pearce.