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Making ‘her’story

(courtesy of Tom Pace) Col. Kristin Goodwin peers out of a B-52 bomber last Friday after she took command of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base.

New 2nd Bomb Commander is first woman in charge of wing in USAF history

Story by Tom Pace  

Air Force history was made in just 25 seconds Friday, August 1 when Col. Kristen E. Goodwin was sworn-in as the first female commander in Air Force history for a bomb wing. 

And, that piece of history belonged to the 2nd Bomb Wing, located at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana.  

Amidst the playing of “Ruffles & Flourishes,” the “National Anthem” & the “Air Force Song,” hundreds of distinguished visitors, Airmen and family members watched from inside Hoban Hall. 

For this time-honored tradition, 8th Air force Commander Maj. Gen. Scott A. Vander Hamm performed the change of command ceremony, with only eight words spoken. 

First, outgoing 2nd Bomb Wing Commander, Col. Andrew J. Gebara said: “Sir, I relinquish command.” Next, Col. Kristin E. Goodwin said: “Sir I assume command.” 

25 seconds in all, and the course of Air Force history was changed forever. 

Among those applauding the first female bomb wing commander were the Mayor of Bossier City, Lorenz “Lo” Walker, a retired Air Force Colonel…the Mayor of Shreveport, Cedric B. Glover…State Senator Barrow Peacock, along with numerous retired generals, and others with ranks of military distinction, all present at the ceremonies. 

Let it be known, that Col. Goodwin has worked diligently to achieve this promotion in rank and responsibility, with 2,726 flight hours as a Command Pilot – including the B-2, EC-130, C-130, T-38, T-1 & T-37.

The Colonel’s bio is filled with literally scores of credentials of past assignments and honors, most-recently as Vice-Commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri…and, just prior to that, she was an Air Force Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank. 

In her speech to the audience, especially, the men and women of “The Mighty Deuce,” Col. Goodwin outlined the values she has learned during her 20-plus years in the Air Force: “…people, mission, and execute.” 

Specifically, her challenge to members of the 2nd Bomb Wing was simple, “Value people, execute the mission, and take pride in what you do.”  

Tom Pace is executive editor and radio host of “Talk of the Town”

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.