By Jennyne Pinter, firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 18, 2nd Bomb Wing Commander Colonel Ty Neuman will be leaving his position at Barksdale.
He is heading for Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Ne where he will serve as the Director of the Commander’s Action Group for General Hyten in US Strategic Command.
“I was truly blessed to take command of a wing filled with world-class airmen who understand the importance of the mission to our nation, dedicated to each other and a proud, rich heritage of Barksdale Air Force Base.” Col. Neuman said Friday morning to a media panel at the 2nd Bomb Wing headquarters. “I think that this base is at the forefront of the Air Force today and is a leading example of what other military operations should strive to become.”
During the time of Col. Neuman’s command, the 2nd Bomb Wing received numerous awards, including the Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle Memorial Award and the Commander-in-Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence in 2017.
“We’ve seen tremendous mission success over the last couple of years,” Col. Neuman reflected. “First off, we took the B52s and the 2nd Bomb Wing as well as our TFI (Total Force Integration) partners, the 307th Bomb Wing, and we brought them back in the central command area of responsibility for the first time in decades.”
The B-52s under Col. Neuman’s command completed successful missions while fighting in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and North Africa. The bombers were also transitioned back to operations in the Pacific, and they further embarked on special missions with the B-52s flying to Europe in order to help strengthen relationships across the Atlantic.
“We demonstrated to our allies that we’re going to be there to support them regardless of the conflict.”
He also said the B-52 is a capable aircraft that will serve Barksdale, the USAF, and the nation well.
“They’re a critical leg of our nuclear triad. For the future of the B-52, it’s absolutely imperative that we continue to modernize this aircraft and continue to raise and train great aviators and maintainers of the B-52,” he stated. “It’s fully capable of any mission set we’re going to give it within the next 30 years and I have no doubt that the B-52 is going to carry on strong through 2050 and beyond if necessary.”
Col. Neuman also emphasized the importance of the construction of the I-220 extension to a new gate at the base.
The I-220 extension will reroute congested traffic from downtown Bossier City away from the gates of BAFB, further securing the base as well as increasing the efficiency of traffic flow. The ease and accessibility will be necessary for the upcoming improvements to the base’s infrastructure. Large and heavy vehicles entering and exiting would no longer have to cross railroad tracks or endure waiting for a passing train. MILCON, the Military Construction Program, has funds earmarked for BAFB.
“Congress controls the purse-strings, of course,” Col. Neuman explained, “on any military infrastructure, and through the sequestration time period, they basically put a moratorium on any new construction on bases. So what they’ve done now in the new budget is authorized money which is called MILCON.”
One of MILCON’s projects happens to be a weapons storage and maintenance facility at BAFB, so the base will continue to work on their side of the construction in order to tie their roads into the I-220 construction and make way for the MILCON project to proceed.
Col. Neuman is grateful for his time here in the Shreveport-Bossier area and has enjoyed working closely with local officials and various community organizations, building relationships and establishing friendships.
“While you see that at other bases, you don’t see it at the same level that you do when you sit as a wing commander. We have a tremendous network of friends. What I call friends from the base perspective, but also good, personal friends and so we’ll certainly miss that.”
Col. Neuman has 23 years in the service, and his wife Shelly has been by his side for 21 of them. She was instrumental in helping the community by advocating for state legislation that allows Louisiana to join the interstate compact for nursing and physical therapists. A registered nurse herself, Mrs. Neuman took action to see that members of some medical fields could practice without having to go through rigorous and costly state licensing tests due to a necessary military relocation.
“Shelly deserves all the credit for this one,” said Col. Neuman, “And I cannot thank her enough for her efforts in bringing this to reality.”
Under his command, there has been other progress in helping military families adjust to their new lives here by hosting employment fairs and providing relief for a family’s school of choice and redistricting to make those preferences a possibility.
Col. Neuman will be succeeded as 2nd BW Commander by Col. Mike Miller.