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Barksdale celebrates prestigious award

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(Above: 2d Bomb Wing Commander Col. Ty Neuman celebrates Barksdale Air Force Base winning the Commander in Chief’s Award.)

Amanda Simmons
amanda@bossierpress.com

Barksdale Air Force Base has received the highest award an Air Force installation can receive.

The base has won the Air Force Installation Excellence Award, which recognizes the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations. The award is presented annually to one installation from each branch of service for their exemplary support of Department of Defense missions.

Team Barksdale pulled out all the stops in January during the evaluation visit by the Air Force Installation Excellence Selection Board. Winners are selected by the IESB, a panel of command senior leaders from a variety of career fields who travel to each installation and conducts a detailed evaluation of working, housing and recreational conditions.

IESB members toured more than 50 work centers over the course of their two-day evaluation, meeting with Team Barksdale members from both the 2nd and 307th Bomb Wings as well as representatives from 8th Air Force, Air Force Global Strike Command and other mission partners.

Gabrielle Parker and Reis Parker, children of 2d Bomb Wing Vice Commander Col. Brandon Parker and Ali Parker, dance together during the celebration for the Commander in Chief’s Award held Friday, March 24 at Barksdale Air Force Base.

At the conclusion of their visit, the panel expressed their admiration of Barksdale’s Airmen. It was those remarks that sealed the deal for Col. Ty Neuman, commander of the 2d Bomb Wing.

“They walked away from here knowing we would be winning this award and I was confident the whole time,” he said. “Our airmen do a fantastic job every single day and I couldn’t be more proud of to be your wing commander.”

Neuman said this is not just a Barksdale award, though.

“This is a community award,” he added. “We are very thankful to have such a great community that supports each and every airman out here and their families as well.”

Barksdale was one of two installations competing for the award. The other was Yokota Air Base, Japan. Barksdale will receive a $700,000 incentive award to invest in quality-of-life projects, as well as a commemorative commander-in-chief’s award trophy and flag and a congratulatory letter from the president.

Now, Barksdale will compete against the other services for the final Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award. Lt. Col. Bill Fish, 2nd Bomb Wing Director of Staff, commended the community for their continued support of the base and its mission.

“This is award is looking at how the installation as a whole functions. You can’t tell the story of Barksdale without telling how the community that surrounds it embraces it,” he said. “If we had kept the evaluation team just on this base and only showed them the mission of Barksdale, we would have lost this award. It was because of our amazing community partners outside the gates and how we work together to raise the quality of life for our airmen. This is truly a Shreveport-Bossier award.”

Not only was Barksdale selected, but eight agencies were selected as “special recognition nominees” and will compete at the Department of Defense level for an award. Those agencies are the 2d Comptroller Squadron, 2d Continuous Process Improvement Team, 2d Force Support Squadron, 2d Installation Deployment Office, 2d Maintenance Group, 2d OSS, Aircrew Flight Equipment Team, 2d Public Affairs and 2d Readiness and Emergency Management Flt.