Story by Tom Pace, Special to the Press-Tribune
U.S. Sen. David Vitter didn’t fail to underscore the importance a recently confirmed 4-star general to the future Barksdale Air Force Base:
“It’s a big deal for the Air Force. It’s a big deal for Barksdale and northwest Louisiana.”
“Of course, from a Louisiana perspective, it’s great for Barksdale and northwest Louisiana…it’s gonna properly elevate what those proud men and women do at Barksdale,” said Vitter.
Gen. Robin Rand was confirmed by the Senate for Global Strike Command on March 27th.
“They’re (GSC) gonna get a better seat at the table when determining resources within the Air Force, so it’s all good in that category,” Vitter explained. “This is very appropriate, because that command is really significant in terms of our nuclear deterrent. It’s important stuff.”
When asked about if Barksdale is now somewhat secure from the Base Realignment Closure (BRAC) hit list, Vitter responded, “Oh yes, it’s very secure because this command is a major command and Barksdale does a very good job at it.”
“But I feel very good about Barksdale in particular,” emphasized Vitter, “The B-52’s are not being phased out anytime soon. They have been completely rebuilt in several different ways, particularly with regard to electronics.”
Putting an exclamation point on the life span of the B-52’s at Barksdale, Vitter concluded, “We’ve invested in that, and so, even though the original airplanes are decades and decades old, they’ essentially completely rebuilt, and will be around for a little while.”
While details are still being worked out, Vitter said that he expects Gen. Rand to be in place in about two months.
Tom Pace is Executive Editor and Radio Host of “Talk of the Town”