We proudly offer Pioneer
AFB - Bossier City, LA
The history of the 2d Bomb Wing is nearly as old
as that of American air power itself. Beginning in World War I, the unit was
established by the Army Air Services as the first effort in aerial
As the 2d Bombardment Group during World War I, it participated in one of
the largest bombing raids of the war on 9 Oct 1918 when 353 Allied planes
commanded by Gen "Billy" Mitchell struck German troop
concentrations in the Meuse-Argonne area. In more than two months of combat,
the group delivered more than 111 tons of bombs on German targets.
From 13-21 July 1921, the group's four bombardment squadrons were detached
to General Mitchell's 1st Provisional Air Brigade to conduct controversial
tests to determine the efficiency of aircraft against naval warships. The
aircraft successfully bombed and sank three ex-German warships, including
the formidable 22,437-ton battleship Ostfriesland, off the coast of
Virginia. From 23-26 Sept. 1921, the group's bombardment squadrons, again
under the direction of General Mitchell, bombed and sank the ex-Navy
battleship USS Alabama in yet another test of aircraft bombardment
On 5 Sept. 1923, the group, operating from an improvised airdrome on the
sands near Cape Hatteras, N.C., bombed and sank the ex-Navy battleships USS
Virginia and USS New Jersey. With the training and experience gained during
these final tests, the 2d Bombardment Group had developed into America's
premier aerial bombardment unit.
To further attest the group's capabilities, three 97th Bombardment Squadron
Martin B-10B aircraft commanded by Capt. Richard E. Nugent departed Langley
Field, VA., and successfully bombed a target 600 miles away in Michigan
during the Second Army Maneuvers. This mission, flown almost entirely in
inclement weather, garnered the squadron the 1936 Mackay Trophy.
On 1 March 1937, the group received the first B-17 bomber, delivered to the
U.S. Army. A goodwill tour to Argentina by six B-17's in February 1938 and a
flight to Colombia by three B-17's in August of the same year highlighted
the late 1930's. The trip to Bueno Aires represented the longest distance
performance of its kind on record and won the group the Mackay Trophy in
Remaining at Langley Field for more than 20 years, the group underwent
several name changes and operated a series of different aircraft. early in
World War II the group was assigned anti-submarine patrol duty and in
October 1942 was earmarked for combat. The group started with fresh
personnel at Geiger Field, Wash., and entered combat operations in North
Africa in March 1943. It subsequently became the 2nd Bombardment Group
(heavy) in July 1943, while flying the B-17 bomber against Axis targets in
the Mediterranean area. From 23 April 1943 to 1 May 1945 aircrews flew a
total of 412 combat missions, dropping 25,797 tons of bombs on targets in
Africa, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Hungary. Group gunners claimed
279 victories of German and Italian aircraft.
The phase-down of the vast American military strength following World War II
was reflected in the activities of the group. It was inactivated upon its
return to the United States in 1946 only to be reactivated as the 2nd
Bombardment Group at Andrews Field, MD., 1 July 1947. The group did not
become operational until arriving at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
During the late summer and early fall of 1947, the group was on temporary
duty in the United Kingdom.
Shortly after the establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate
branch of the military, the group was assigned as a tactical component of
the newly designated 2nd Bombardment Wing.
In January 1949, the wing transferred to Chatham Air Force Base, near
Savannah, GA. A year later, it was again moved to a new home at nearby
Hunter Field. From 1949 to 1952 all or portions of the wing performed
temporary duty exercises overseas.
Headquarters Air Force ordered the permanent designation of the group's
history, awards and emblem bestowed on the wing 1 April 1963. On that same
date, the wing moved to Barksdale from Hunter and took control of the B-52
and KC-135 aircraft assigned to the 4238th Strategic Wing.
Liberty We Defend
Starting in 1965, 2d Bomb Wing crews supported operation "Arc
Light," the B-52 bombing operations in Southeast Asia. In April 1972,
as part of Operation Bullet Shot, the wing deployed the remainder of its
aircraft participated in Operation Just Cause, which ousted President Manuel
Noriega and restored democracy to Panama.
Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm brought Barksdale warriors into
the spotlight again with their efforts to liberate Kuwait.
The 2d Bomb Wing flew the longest bombing mission in the history of military
aviation when seven B-52's flew a 35 hour mission and launched the first
conventional cruise missiles. The 2d Bomb Wing delivered one-fourth of all
U.S. Air Force bombs during Desert Storm. The 2d Bomb Wing KC-135's and
KC-10's provided more than 1,000 of the 13,700 coalition refueling missions.
Two 2d Bomb Wing B-52's conducted a missile strike against surface-to-air
missile sites and air defense radars in Iraq in September 1996. Desert
Strike was the first combat employment of the B-52H in history and was
ordered in response to Iraqi attacks on Kurds in northern Iraq. The mission
earned the wing the prestigious 1996 Mackay Trophy as the most meritorious
flight of the year.
In November 1997, eight B-52 bombers and about 200 people from the wing were
ordered by the president to the British Isle of Diego Garcia in the Indian
Ocean where they joined forces already in the region in response to threats
made by Iraq. The B-52's capability to perform a variety of missions with
worldwide precision strike served as a significant factor in making up a
credible military force that led to an agreement between the U.N. secretary
general and Iraq that called for a full accounting and disclosure of
In response to Iraq's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors,
seven B-52's and about 180 people from Barksdale were again deployed to
Diego Garcia in November 1998. U.S. military forces, including Barksdale's
B-52's, launched a sustained series of air strikes against Iraq shortly
after midnight 17 Dec. 1998, using conventional air-launched cruise
Today, as the largest bomb wing in Air Combat Command and part of the
historic 8th Air Force, the wing continues to reflect the heritage of its
motto, Libertatem Defendimus: "Liberty We Defend."
phone numbers: Commercial (318)456-2252 or DSN 781-2252
address: Barksdale AFB, LA 71110
5,372 active duty; 1,534 reservists; 7,125 family members; 1,288
officer family units; 497 enlisted family units; 804 unaccompanied personnel
lodging: 264 visitor and temporary units (318)456-3091;
Support Center: (318)456-8400
Care: Center for 166, six-month wait; five approved homes
care: Clinic. Appointments (318)456-6555; benefits
(318)456-6572; Tricare (800)611-2875
AFB - Bossier
LA has a large size commissary - (318)456-8263, a medium exchange, a mall, and
one shoppette (318)746-2554. Recreation at Barksdale AFB - Bossier
LA includes bowling, library, recreation center, theater, golf, gym, tennis,
swimming, outdoor activities, and fishing.