Barksdale Chosen for Global Strike Command

The Air Force announced yesterday that Barksdale AFB, La., is the preferred site for the permanent headquarters of Air Force Global Strike Command, the service’s new nuclear-centric major command that will oversee its nuclear-capable bomber and ICBM forces. Barksdale was selected over the other finalist locations that were announced in January: F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., Malmstrom AFB, Mont., Minot AFB, N.D., Offutt AFB, Neb., and Whiteman AFB, Mo. “All six candidate locations received a thorough evaluation in accordance with our basing process,” said Kathleen Ferguson, USAF’s installations czar. The Air Force said the choice was primarily based on an installation’s ability to provide significant nuclear mission synergy. Barksdale is home to 8th Air Force, which oversees USAF’s nuclear-capable B-2A and B-52H bombers, and the 2nd Bomb Wing, a B-52 unit. “Today’s announcement is welcome news for Barksdale and all of Northwest Louisiana,” Rep. John Fleming (R), the Louisiana Congressman in whose district Barksdale lies, said Thursday in a joint release with fellow Republican Sen. David Vitter. “This is a huge win for Barksdale and the local community,” added Vitter. In a separate release yesterday, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said: “Today’s decision was made possible in large part thanks to the tremendous local leaders in Bossier and Shreveport. This community is the standard-bearer of supportive military communities.” Per US law, the Air Force must still complete an assessment of the environmental impact of placing the new HQ at Barksdale before making a final decision. That decision is expected this summer. Bolling AFB, D.C, has been hosting the provisional HQ for Global Strike Command since January. (For more, on AFGSC and the Air Force’s nuclear revitalization, read Air Force Magazine’s Nuclear Force Revival)