By Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
Here’s something a little different. With the edge coming off the heat in the northwest Louisiana “Ark-La-Tex” region and with Air Force Global Strike Command’s just-declared Full Operational Capability under their belt, the vast majority of the 900 full-time members of the headquarters staff gathered outside the Global Strike Command headquarters building at Barksdale Air Force Base for a family photo of sorts Oct. 21. The temperature on picture day was sunny and an unseasonably warm 85 degrees with very low fall humidity of less than 50 percent.
What the group accomplished was not just a first-ever headquarters staff photo (“suitable for framing”) but the culmination of a remarkably fast build-up of the first all-new major command in nearly 30 years, from scratch. Members of the headquarters gathered for the picture, recognizing the Command’s rapid growth from about 50 full-time and 50 temporary duty employees to nearly 900 full-time staff in less than 14 months.
In remarks after the photograph, Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, Global Strike Command commander, praised Barksdale’s host 2d Bomb Wing and community leaders for their support providing workspace, living space, schools and a welcome reception to members of the new command. Imagine being the 2d Bomb Wing, already having a numbered Air Force headquarters (8th Air Force) on base and then being tasked to bed-down, as they call it, about 900 new people, a new three-star commander, and all the facilities and housing they would need to get their jobs done starting immediately and finishing in about a year’s time. Apparently, from the general’s remarks, the men and women of the 2d Bomb Wing succeeded. Their vice commander, Col. Tom Hesterman, and wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Joe Ann Pace represented the wing in the photo.
Not only that, the general praised the local Shreveport-Bossier City community for their welcoming attitude and Southern Hospitality in assisting with the transition. On stage with the general and Global Strike Command Chief Master Sgt. Jack Johnson were community leaders Mr. Doug Rogers, of the local military affairs committee, and Mr. Murray Viser and Ms. Linda Biernacki, who are civilian advisors to the commander.
Good job to all in building a command without the command’s three missile wings and three bomb wings missing a beat! Obviously there were some heroic efforts by the 2d Bomb Wing to bring all those new folks and new mission on base so quickly.
Air Force Global Strike Command is now full-up, providing combat-ready forces for nuclear deterrence and global strike operations with, as they say, “a special trust and responsibility for the most powerful weapons in our Nation’s arsenal,” and abiding by their motto: To Deter and Assure.