People, Mission, Pride: a lasting legacy

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

From the moment Col. Kristin E. Goodwin stepped onto Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, she has created an atmosphere that welcomes innovative ideas and passes on lessons learned.

"Those lessons can be summed up in three words: people, mission and pride," Goodwin said upon assuming command of 2nd Bomb Wing in August 2014. "Value people, execute the mission and take pride in what you do ... people, mission and pride can change the world."

These values became the official wing priorities shortly after Goodwin took the reins, and have framed many of Barksdale’s accomplishments during her time as commander.

“Col Goodwin's motto of ‘people, mission and pride’ truly inspired me,” said Senior Airman Tiffany Campbell, 2nd Medical Squadron mental health technician. “It was through her that I really started to zero in on just how my job impacts the mission. Working in mental health you see so many success stories of individuals dealing with challenges that some could never imagine. By putting people first we were able to get these individuals, not just fully-functioning, but prepared for obstacles they may encounter in the future. Through these encounters I developed a renewed pride in our mission. I am very grateful for not only her leadership but also for her impeccable mentorship which is indeed second-to-none.”

Focusing on the mission, 2nd Bomb Wing personnel achieved success and acclaim all over the world. B-52 Stratofortress crews participated in various U.S. and NATO exercises, supported the Joint Interagency Task Force South, conducted displays of overwhelming firepower to assure allies during Exercise Eager Lion and recently deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Additionally, hundreds of 2nd BW Airmen continually deployed across the globe to support vital missions for combatant commanders.

“Amy and I salute Kristin and Kelly for their leadership of the 2nd Bomb Wing team,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Clark, 8th Air Force commander. “Their people-first approach ensured the Mighty Deuce remained ready and able to strike anytime, anywhere, culminating in the B-52's recent return to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to support the fight against ISIS.  Reflecting Kristin and Kelly [Goodwin]'s leadership, the 2nd Bomb Wing deployed aircrew, maintainers and support team are already receiving high praise from U.S. Air Forces Central Command leaders for their excellence and commitment to their tasked mission.”

Under Goodwin’s leadership, the 2nd Bomb Wing received numerous awards and accolades, including both the General Frederick W. Castle award for best bomb wing in Air Force Global Strike Command, and the prestigious Omaha Trophy for best strategic bomb wing in U.S. Strategic Command. The Mighty Deuce also scored higher during a Nuclear Surety Inspection than any unit in the history of AFGSC. And for the first time in Air Force history, 2nd Bomb Wing crews flew a B-52 formation comprised of all-female crew members, led by none other than Goodwin herself.

“Col. Goodwin has always impressed me with how she led by example,” said Senior Airman Charles Hinson, 2nd Maintenance Squadron air-ground equipment journeyman. “For instance, by scoring 100 percent on her physical fitness assessment she presented herself as a leader who sets a standard of excellence by being the best. That kind of display by a leader has a powerful effect on those they lead. She was passionate about her country and job, and it showed; that’s the most valuable thing to me in a leader.”

Barksdale also received new and updated facilities under Goodwin’s tenure. During her time as 2BW commander Barksdale saw the completion of a weapons-load training facility, enabling 2nd Munitions Squadron Airmen to safely train under any weather conditions and at any time of day, and a new Mission Support Group building collocating many departments under one roof, as well as upgrades to base fitness facilities and a revamp of the Exchange. These updates to base infrastructure, while practical, primarily served to ensure Team Barksdale had opportunities to operate, train, exercise and relax in the best facilities possible.

By embracing the priorities of people, mission and pride, Goodwin created a lasting impression on the 2nd Bomb Wing. The men and women under her command benefited from her experience and passionate lead-from-the-front approach. Upon departure, she can be assured that she has left Barksdale a better place than she found it.

“Col. Goodwin - thank you for inspiring us to be Innovative Airmen,” Capt. Molly Matthews Neu, 2nd MDG medical readiness and medical information services flight commander. “You have left a legacy here at the 2nd BW, showing people that by taking care of each other, we are unstoppable. You have also shown us that it is possible to be a mother, spouse and respected professional. That example is something that will stay will me and continue to inspire me to push forward in my aspirations as an Airmen, mother, and spouse - to create balance in a world that is full of pressure and stress... If Col Goodwin can do it, so can I!”