The fini flight of Col. Joseph Jones, vice commander of Air Force Reserve Command’s 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, La., also represented a significant milestone for the Reserve B-52 force at the base. Jones, who retires in March, was the navigator on one of two B-52s that took off from Barksdale on Feb. 18 on a training mission to drop bombs on the Smoky Hill ANG Range in Kansas, according to a Feb. 20 base release. By the time the 19 Reservists aboard the two B-52s returned to Barksdale, they had collectively eclipsed 100,000 total flight hours, a testament to the many years of experience and the expertise they bring to the mission. “This shows the dedication of the Reserve crew members here,” said Jones. These airmen, he said, “have spent most of their lives, as you can tell by the gray hair, serving their country because they love the United States.” Jones logged more than 4,260 total flight hours during his 37-plus years of service. (Barksdale report by MSgt. Jeff Walston)
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.