In preparation for its Krewe of Gemini XXXV Mardi Gras parade on Saturday February 10, 2024, the Krewe of Gemini welcomed the public to its annual float loading party on Friday evening February 9 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. The annual float loading event is held at the Krewe of Gemini’s den located on East Texas Street in Bossier City.
The family-friendly event was free and an opportunity to view the Gemini floats close-up the day prior to this year’s parade. The public also had an opportunity to meet Gemini XXXV royalty and krewe members. Some krewe members even gave away specialty beads and throws to excited visitors. The float loading event also included food and beverage vendors, Mardi Gras trinkets, and face painting for the kids.
This Krewe of Gemini XXXV Grand Marshall was Chief Master Sergeant Melvina Smith.
Chief Master Sergeant Melvina A. Smith is the Command Chief Master Sergeant for Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), and Air Forces Strategic-Air, headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. She is the senior enlisted leader responsible to the commander on matters concerning the welfare of the command’s Airmen. The AFGSC mission is to develop, equip and provide combat-ready forces for nuclear deterrence and global strike operations supporting the initiatives of United States Strategic Command and other geographic combatant commands. The AFGSC is comprised of approximately 33,700 professionals operating at two Numbered Air Forces and eleven active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve wings. Assigned weapons systems include Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, B-1, B-2, and B-52 strategic bombers, UH-1N helicopters, E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft and the Nuclear Command, Control and Communications infrastructure.
Chief Smith grew up in Chicago, Ill., and entered the Air Force in August 1992. Her background includes numerous leadership roles at the HHQ Air Force, MAJCOM, wing, group and squadron levels. Additionally, Chief Smith has served as Chief of the Chief’s Group and Deputy Chief of Staff where she provided guidance to all senior leaders on the execution of command chief hiring, as well as principal advisor to the Deputy Staff, Manpower, Personnel, Services and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force on all chief master sergeant matters. Throughout her career, Chief Smith has participated and supported several operations, exercises and deployments in direct support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. Prior to assuming her current position, Chief Smith served as Command Chief Master Sergeant of Eighth Air Force and the Senior Enlisted Leader for the Joint-Global Strike Operations Center (J-GSOC) where she was responsible to the commander for the operational utilization, readiness, morale and welfare of more than 24,000 professionals.