|SAC Bases: Barksdale
Air Force Base
Barksdale AFB is located in the NW corner of Louisiana just 18 miles East
of the Texas border and 70 miles South of Arkansas. Interstate 20 goes right by
the base, and Interstate 49 ends 8 miles from the base, near Bossier City.
It is now the home of the 2d Bomb Wing; it provides global combat capability and trains all B-52 combat
crews. Barksdale is now home to the
8th Air Force Museum
It's exhibits include many aircraft, such as the B-47 shown above.
| Assigned Wings
in 1931, construction of the world's largest airfield (22,000 acres)
introduced dramatic and significant changes to the cotton plantation area.
The 1940s at Barksdale saw the training of bomber crews instead of the
pursuit and fighter crews as in the previous decade. Barksdale Field was
named Barksdale Air Force Base in 1948. During 1949, Barksdale was the
home of the first Air Force all-jet strategic reconnaissance/bomber
aircraft, the North American RB-45 "Tornado" and home to the 2nd Air Force
headquarters, bringing Barksdale into the Strategic Air Command. The
Boeing B-47 "Stratojet" and Boeing
KC-97 "Stratotanker" also were assigned here during the mid-50s.
| In March 1958 the first of the Boeing B-52
KC-135 "Stratotankers" were assigned. The World War I - famous 2nd Bomb Wing
transferred to Barksdale April 1, 1963, from Hunter Field, Ga. From 1965 and into
the 1970s, the 2nd Bomb Wing prepared for the day when they would deploy to
Southeast Asia for "Arc Light" and "Young Tiger" missions. From 1972 through
1973 almost all of the wing's resources were deployed overseas for operations
over Vietnam. All aircraft and crews returned in January and October of 1973.
Eight B-52 aircraft and more than 70 people deployed to RAF
in support of NATO operations to end the crisis in Kosovo. While deployed to RAF
Fairford, the B-52s and B-1s flew more than 270 combat sorties, releasing more
than 11,000 weapons in more than 2,000 flight hours since March 24, 1999.