Barksdale Air Force Base (IATA code: BAD) is situated 7.6km south-east of Bossier City in Louisiana, USA. It is owned by the United States Air Force (USAF) and operated by the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). Approximately 7,800 military personnel reside at the base.
The USAF awarded an $18m contract to LC Gaskins Construction in March 2012 to design and construct the consolidated mission support complex (CMSC) at the Barksdale base.
The complex will be a three-storey steel frame structure with features such as floor slabs, strengthened masonry walls, a sloped metal roof, wet sprinkler, fire alarms, telephone and energy monitoring systems.
The CMSC is expected to be commissioned in November 2013.
Background and history of Louisiana’s air force base
Barksdale base was originally an airfield which became operational in November 1932. The airfield was designated as Barksdale Field in February 1933 in memory of aviation pioneer 2d Lt Eugene Hoy Barksdale.
The field was under the operational control of Army Air Force Training Command from November 1945 to July 1946. Its control was reassigned to the Air Training Command in July 1946.
The base obtained its current name in January 1948. Control of the base was shifted to Strategic Air Command in November 1949.
Operational control of the base was handed over to the Air Combat Command in June 1992. It was finally transferred to the AFGSC in February 2010.
Construction of Barksdale base near Bossier City
Construction of the Barksdale base began in January 1931 as an airfield and was completed in October 1932. Hangars, runways and billets were constructed in 1931. Additional barracks were built between 1936 and 1937. The runway apron was set up in 1941. Dormitories were established between 1951 and 1953.
Construction of the taxiway and apron at the base were finished in March 1963. A hospital and new control tower were built in September 1971 and November 1972 respectively. The corrosion control facility was commissioned in July 1979.
Walton Construction was awarded a $15.2m contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Command in September 2009 to design and build a 46,000 square feet security forces complex (SFC) at the base. The SFC will feature administration, a control centre, jail, armoury, supply, classrooms and vehicle maintenance facilities. Its construction began in March 2010.
Garrison facilities and units at Barksdale Air Force Base
The BAD serves as the headquarters for the 2nd Bomb Wing (2 BW). Activated in April 1963, the 2 BW carries out strategic nuclear disincentives, global strike missions and trains all B-52 combat crews.
It is organised into four groups, which include the 2nd Operations Group, 2nd Mission Support Group, 2nd Maintenance Group and 2nd Medical Group.
Other tenant units deployed at the base encompass AFGSC, Air Force Reserve Command, 917th Fighter Group, Detachment 13 ACC TRSS and 8th Information Warfare Flight.
The base also hosts the 93rd Bomb Squadron, 343rd Bomb Squadron, 47th Fighter Squadron, 11th Bomb Squadron, 20th Bomb Squadron, 96th Bomb Squadron, 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron and 26th Operational Weather Squadron.
Air facilities at the United States Air Force’s Louisiana base
Barksdale Air Force Base features a single 3,583m long runway surfaced with porous European mix (PEM).
The runway can accommodate the B-52 Stratofortress, KC-97 Stratofreighter aerial tanker, KC-10A Extender aerial tanker, KC-135 Stratotanker, RB-45 Tornado, B-47 Stratojet bomber, B-29 Superfortress, British Vulcan, C-45 Expeditor, C-47 Skytrain, F-84F Thunderstreak, P-26 Peashooter and T-33 Shooting Star aircraft.
Flight operations at the base are supervised by a newly built 12-storey air traffic control tower. It is an 8,300 square feet facility which houses administrative and equipment levels, a catwalk and cab level.
Other facilities present at the Barksdale Air Force Base
The BAD offers education, temporary lodging, accommodation, childcare and medical care facilities. It features 729 housing units of which 594 are reserved for non-commissioned officers and the remaining 135 are earmarked for special officers.
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