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Maj. Gen. James Dawkins assumes command of the Eighth Air Force at Barksdale

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By Stacey Tinsley, newsroom@bossierpress.com

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr. assumed command of the Eighth Air Force and the Joint-Global Strike Operations Center Aug. 20 from Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere.

New commander of the Eighth Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center, Maj. Gen. Dawkins, was commissioned in 1989. He had held a variety of operational and staff assignments, including command of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, the 509th Operations Group at Whiteman AFB and the 338th Combat Training Squadron at Offutt AFB.

His assignments include positions at the Joint Staff, U.S. Strategic Command, Headquarters International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, the Department of Energy, and the National Security Council.

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to be standing with you today. We couldn’t be happier. We are so happy to be here. We really appreciate everyone coming out,” said Maj. Gen. Dawkins.

General Bussiere is a 1985 distinguished graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps from Norwich University. He has held a variety of flying, staff and Command assignments.

Prior to his current assignment, Maj. Gen Thomas Bussiere served as the Deputy Director for Nuclear Homeland Defense and Current Operations, Joint Staff, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va.

“Most folks that come to Bossier-Shreveport don’t completely understand that absolute support from our local civic leaders, our community powerhouses. We really appreciate that. Thank you,” said Maj. Gen. Bussiere. “I couldn’t be more proud to be handing the guide on to this fine leadership team. You will not find a better leadership team to lead The Mighty Eighth and the JG.”

Eighth Air Force, also known as “The Mighty Eighth,” is the numbered Air Force responsible for the service’s B-1, B-2 and B-52 bomber fleet as well as the Air Force’s airborne nuclear command and control aircraft. The historic unit back to the WWII era and has called the Shreveport-Bossier City area home since 1975.

The Joint Global Operations Center is a newly formed unit that serves as the central command and control center for all operations within Air Force Global Strike Command.