Story by Tom Pace
Despite a chilly, overcast, blustery day outside… inside Hoban Hall, the warmth of laughter echoed throughout, during parts of the military change of command ceremony, as the 307th Reserve Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base welcomed their new Commander, Col. Bruce Cox on Sunday, December 7th, 2014.
By military standards, the rather brief 35-minute ceremony conducted by the Commander of the 10th Air Force, Brig. Gen. Richard Scobee, was dedicated to the 1,500-plus Airmen, currently serving with the Wings of Blue.
With eight spoken words, the last four simply stating “Sir, I assume command,” Col. Cox was installed as the new Commander of the 307th.
The former Commander of the 307th, and now, newly promoted to the Global Strike Command Headquarters, Col. John Ellis gave glowing praise to Col. Cox, an F-16 pilot, most recently assigned to the 10th Air Force as Director of of Operations and Plans Directorate, at Naval Air Station, Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas.
Taking a different direction on addressing the Airman, this time, standing in the middle of the stage, flanked on either side by flags, Col. Cox told the audience of his love of the Air Force, particularly flying.
During a “1-on-1” interview with Tom Pace, Cox reiterated his remarks, “Getting back to the unit level is a tremendous opportunity, and certainly coming in with the 307th Bomb Wing and the citizen Airmen that do the work of deter and assure of Global Strike Command, it’s going to be tremendous.”
When asked about the number of Airmen currently in the wing, Cox answered quickly, “… I didn’t even know how the numbers would play out, when I asked them to pull the data. But there’s currently over 1,500 citizen Airmen serving in the 307th Bomb Wing, 600 of them raised their hand and joined the military prior to 9-11…but that leaves 900 that after the events of 9-11, voluntarily raised their hand, knowing they were going to be put in harm’s way, and still did it, with eagerness in their heart to take care of America’s business as need.”
Col. Cox finally added, “The 307th Bomb Wing is a force to be reckoned with, that’s for sure.”
An Aggie, with the call sign “Baghdad”, Cox has held various leadership positions in the 10th AF, all the while having been in 11 combat deployments, flying a total of 158 missions, logging some 565 hours while participating in Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Deny Flight, Decisive Edge, Northern Watch, Southern Watch and Enduring Iraqi Freedom.
While Cox awaits his check-ride in the B-52H, it should be noted that the 28-year veteran, is a command pilot with more than 4,400 hours in the T-37, T-38, and F-16.