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
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.