Military News

Thursday, July 16, 2015

2nd Bomb Wing Commander shares insights on Continuous Bomber Presence Mission

by 2nd Bomb Wing staff
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

7/13/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Recently, Col. Kristin Goodwin, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, visited Barksdale Airmen deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in support of U.S. Pacific Command's Continuous Bomber Presence mission.

Warriors from the 2nd BW have been supporting this mission, designed to provide an assurance and deterrence presence in the critical Asia-Pacific region, - since its inception more than 11 years ago.

Here, the colonel shares some insight regarding her visit:

Q1. What types of missions have our Airmen been supporting during this rotation?

A1:  Since arriving in early March, our Airmen from the 20th Bomb Squadron have flown more than 900 hours in support of U.S. Pacific Command objectives. Unique opportunities have included: exercising interoperability with joint terminal air controllers; integrating with the B-1 during a pair of sorties; and showcasing the power of the B-52 through participation in airshows in unique places like Malaysia.

Q2. Has our team participated in any notable missions or exercises during this rotation?

A2:  Supporting Balikatan, a bilateral Philippines-U.S. exercise stands out. This year's was one of the largest, involving more than 11,000 service members between the two nations. Opportunities to integrate with international allies are great training for our crews and it demonstrates how conventional capabilities of the B-52 can be leveraged. Training with allied nations is just one more way we demonstrate American resolve and our commitment to the region. 

Q3: What makes our Airmen and the B-52s well-suited to support the Pacific region?

A3:  Beyond its ability to cover a lot of ground through long-duration sorties and carry a wider variety of munitions than any other airframe in the USAF's inventory, the B-52 is a very visible symbol of American airpower. Our allies and adversaries take note of when, where, and how we employ, making the B-52 an ideal platform for the increasingly dynamic Asia-Pacific Theater.

As for our Airmen who operate and maintain the jet in this expeditionary environment; first and foremost, they are Warriors. They are ready and prepared for any mission and contingency. Just a few weeks ago, they were forced to evacuate for a typhoon.  For many, this would have disrupted the mission - not our team! They persevered and were able to plan and launch complex, higher headquarters-directed missions from their remote location. When we talk about an Air Force powered by Airmen, this is what we are talking about: undeniable warrior spirit, and our Airmen have it!

Q4: What stood out to you during this visit?

A4:  Teamwork. When we deploy to Guam, our team join the men and women of the 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base. With their support, we bed-down our Airmen, establish connectivity with the AOR, and set up flying and maintenance operations - not to mention we rely on them for all the other functions you would expect on an Air Force Base: a dining facility, gym, medical support, security...the list goes on. Thanks to our partnership, our deployed Airmen are mission-ready on day one. The success of our assurance and deterrence role in the Asia-Pacific Region is a result of great Airmen working together to accomplish great things. Every job contributes to the mission, and every Airman is helping shape the future of the region.

Q5: How have you seen the Continuous Bomber Presence mission evolve over the past 10 years? What does the 2nd Bomb Wing's future look like in regards to supporting this mission?

A5:  The CBP deployment is a fantastic opportunity for training and real-world operations. Over the years, our team has been able to work with an increasing number of joint and international partners. There is no substitute for this type of experience.  When the B-52 goes to combat, we will be striking the enemy with a team composed of our sister services and coalition partners. Guam affords our Airmen the opportunity to work, train and employ alongside these forces and establish relationships enabling future operations.

Speaking of future operations, the nature of the Pacific AOR is constantly changing.  The strategic aims of constituent nation-states change over time, and the manner by which they pursue their goals change as well. As a result, our Airman must constantly adapt and remain ever vigilant. Each deployment produces new tactics and new innovations that drive how we employ the latest technology designed for the B-52.  The future of CBP is exciting. We look forward to the impact the Airmen of Barksdale will have as they perform our mission in support of Pacific Command objectives.

Q6: How is the morale of our team there?

A6:  It is never easy to be away from family and loved ones. Whether you are across the country or across the ocean, being separated from home is tough. We are incredibly thankful for the outpouring of support our Airmen receive from friends and family state-side. From phone calls to care packages, simple acts really make a difference while deployed.

Team Barksdale is much more than just our Airmen. It is all those who support and encourage, those who motivate our deployed Airmen to do their best every day.  Because of this, our team is doing great! They are excited about the mission, proud of their accomplishments and eager to support our Combatant Commanders.

Q7: What would you say to people who think about CBP and say, "Oh, that's just a trip to Guam."?

A7:  The mission on Guam is real. Our Airmen are helping stabilize a region of the world through every jet loaded and every sortie launched. Our crews have flown alongside hostile nations, been intercepted by foreign aircraft, and have curbed aggressive international action. Barksdale Airmen are making a real difference, and we are incredibly proud of the role each has in this important mission.

Q8: Any final thoughts?

A8:  The Barksdale mission touches every corner of the globe.  Our Airmen are actively supporting every Combatant Command. The Continuous Bomber Presence on Guam is just one example of the tremendous impact the Airmen of Barksdale are making on the world.  We are incredibly proud of the great work our team is doing while deployed and at home. Thank you for the opportunity to tell their story.

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