Library Fact Sheets
2D BOMB WING|
Printable Fact Sheet
To protect our nation and its global interests by providing devastating B-52 combat capability and unmatched expeditionary combat Airmen. ANYTIME...ANYWHERE
The Deuce--the best Bomb Wing in the USAF. Masters of both the strategic deterrence and full spectrum global strike missions; manned by capable, competent and confident Airmen; caring for our Air Force families, and positive contributors to our community.
Uncompromising strategic deterrence competence; devastating global combat airpower; fit and ready Airmen; supported and enabled families.
The 2nd Bomb Wing conducts the primary mission of Barksdale Air Force Base, La., with three squadrons of B-52H Stratofortress bombers - the 11th Bomb Squadron, which is the training squadron, the 20th Bomb Squadron and the 96th Bomb Squadron.
Together they ensure the 2nd Bomb Wing provides flexible, responsive, global combat capability, autonomously or in concert with other forces, and trains all Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Force Reserve B-52 crews.
Personnel and Resources
The 2nd Bomb Wing is the largest bomb wing in Air Force Global Strike Command and part of the historic 8th Air Force. More than 8,500 active-duty, Air Force Reserve members and civilians make up Barksdale's workforce. About 26 B-52 Stratofortress aircraft are also assigned to the wing.
The history of the 2nd Bomb Wing is nearly as old as American air power itself. Beginning in World War I, the unit was established by the American Expeditionary Forces as the first effort in aerial bombardment.
Organized on Sept. 10, 1918, as the 1st Day Bombardment Group at Amanty Airdome, France, the group flew the French-built Berguet 14 and the DeHavilland DH-4 aircraft in the St. Mihiel Offensive. The group was deactivated after the war, then reorganized Sept. 18, 1919, at Ellington Field, Texas. The group stayed in Texas until July 1922 when it was redesignated the 2nd Bombardment Group and subsequently moved to Langley Field, Va.
Remaining at Langley Field for more than 20 years, the 2nd Bomb Group underwent several name changes and operated a series of different aircraft, until it was thrust into action once again. Early in World War II, the 2nd Bomb Group was assigned anti-submarine patrol duty, and in October 1942 was earmarked for combat. The unit started with fresh personnel at Ephrata, Wash., and entered combat operations in North Africa in March 1943. It subsequently became the 2nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) in July 1943, while flying the B-17 bomber against Axis targets in the Mediterranean area. From April 28, 1943, until May 1, 1945, the unit flew a total of 412 combat missions, bombing targets in Africa, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Greece and Poland.
The phase-down of the vast American military following World War II was reflected in the activities of the 2nd Bombardment Group. In May 1949, the wing transferred to Chatham Air Force Base, near Savannah, Ga.
The wing left Georgia April 1, 1963, and moved to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., taking control of the B-52 Stratofortress aircraft assigned to the 4238th Strategic Wing.
To more adequately address its mixture of tankers and bombers, the wing was redesignated the 2d Wing Sept. 1, 1991.
In December 1992, the last B-52G left Barksdale for long-term storage in Arizona. The 2d Wing's fleet of bombers was replaced with a newer B-52H fleet. Also in December, the wing reclaimed the name of one of its original World War I bomb squadrons: the 20th Bomb Squadron.The wing was redesignated as the 2d Bomb Wing on Oct. 1, 1993, and transferred its KC-135A Stratotankers and KC-10 Extenders to Air Mobility Command's 458th Operations Group at Barksdale.
Two 2d Bomb Wing B-52Hs flew the first-ever around-the-world bombing mission on Aug. 1, 1994. The trip took 47.2 hours, the longest jet flight ever - one more demonstration of the wing's ability to extend American military muscle anywhere in the world.
Today, as the largest bomb wing in the U.S. Air Force and part of the historic 8th Air Force, the wing continues to reflect the heritage of its motto, Libertatem Defendimus: "Liberty We Defend."
The emblem of the 2nd Bomb Wing reflects a proud heritage almost as old as American air power. In the shape of an Air Force shield, the emblem is divided at the top into five perpendicular stripes. The colors of the stripes -- black and primitive green -- are those that the wing bore as part of the Army Air Service during World War I. The three primitive green stripes represent the three major offensives in which the wing participated during that war: St. Mihiel, Lorraine and Meuse-Argonne. The white fleur de lis at the top symbolizes France, the theater of operations for the wing's World War I achievements. The lower portion of the shield is in Air Force golden yellow, charged with four aerial bombs in ultramarine blue, not only representing the original four combatant squadrons assigned during World War I, but also suggesting the unit's present mission as a heavy bombardment wing of Air Combat Command.
(Current as of April 2014)
2nd Bomb Wing
Office of Public Affairs
Barksdale AFB, LA 71110-2270