Barksdale AFB was constructed in the center of a large cotton plantation, beginning in 1931. The base was dedicated in 1933 as Barksdale Field.
In the early 1930s, Barksdale AFB was used as a training facility for aerial combat.
By the time World War II arrived, the focus was shifted to bomber crew training.
After many changes in command and a wide variety of aircraft deployed, Barksdale is now engaged in supporting the Global War on Terrorism.
The host unit of Barksdale AFB is the 2nd Bomb Wing. This unit’s mission is to protect the US and its global interests by providing well- maintained B-52s and the crews to fly and support them. Also at Barksdale AFB is the headquarters of the Eighth Air Force Global Strike Command. In addition, the 307th Bomb Wing, the 917th Fighter Group, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 28 and the 26th Operational Weather Squadron are all housed at Barksdale.
Located in a mild climate zone, Bossier City and Shreveport offer a long list of outdoor activities. Bossier City alone has two golf courses and two speedways. Nearby, in the town of Benton, the Cypress-Black Bayou Recreation and Water District offers swimming, hiking, camping and fishing, as well as a Nature Center and a zoo. Bossier City’s CenturyLink Center hosts events featuring many of the nation’s top entertainers. The Riverdome at Horseshoe Casino is another Bossier City venue for concerts and other exciting events. The 10-minute trip to Shreveport is well worth the time, especially during the Shreveport Blues Festival. The area has many fine restaurants, a number of them featuring local specialties.
Students K-12 living in on-base housing or elsewhere in Bossier City attend the Bossier Parish Schools. Caddo Parish Schools serve military families living in Shreveport. Both districts have exceptional programs for the gifted and the physically or developmentally challenged.
As for medical facilities, the 2nd Medical Group is in charge of providing on-base care for the military and qualified dependents. Nearby hospitals include The A.J. Mullen Memorial Hospital, five hospitals in the CHRISTUS group, LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, the Shreveport VA Medical Center and four hospitals in the Willis-Knighton Group.
On-base housing at Barksdale AFB includes over 700 units for military families. Barksdale base housing has been privatized and is run by the Hunt Group. Families pay for privatized housing by authorizing an allotment to Hunt. The lease is a one-year lease with special military clauses designed to make it easy to move whenever necessary. Barksdale has limited temporary lodging units. Pets are not allowed in temporary housing. If there is no housing available on base, military members may get commercial housing off-base.