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8th Air Force/J-GSOC

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Eighth Air Force is one of two active-duty Numbered Air Forces in Air Force Global Strike Command with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, in the Shreveport-Bossier City community.

The mission of “The Mighty Eighth Air Force” and the Joint – Global Strike Operations Center (J-GSOC) is to conduct indefinite strategic deterrence operations, and on order, neutralize the enemy through global strike in order to protect the United States of America.

The Commander of Eighth Air Force also commands the J-GSOC with the vision for this unique warfighting partnership to be: an agile, back-to-basics command, bridging to the future and ready to fight tonight.

As the single bomber force provider for all combatant commands, Eighth Air Force controls long-range conventional strike and nuclear-capable bomber assets worldwide. Its flexible, conventional and nuclear deterrence assets provide the capability to deploy forces and engage enemy threats from home station or forward positions, anywhere, any time. Additionally, the Eighth Air Force commands the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) platform, a key component of the National Military Command System.

The J-GSOC is the warfighting air component to USSTRATCOM, the operational arm of both the U.S. bomber forces and Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) assets, and is also charged with monitoring the nation’s ICBM force. The J-GSOC consists of the 608th Air operations Center (Joint Air Operations Center or JAOC), the Joint Nuclear Operations Center (JNOC) and the Standoff Munitions Application Center (SMAC).

Mission
Eighth Air Force trains, exercises, and enables Airmen to be prepared to conduct global strike operations and global command and control. The Mighty Eighth prepares forces for deployment and employment, to include conducting operations, maintenance, planning, training, and security in order to guarantee the continuous readiness of the United States’ fleet of B-1, B-2, and B-52 combat aircraft and the NAOC onboard the E-4B aircraft.

Personnel
The Eighth Air Force and J-GSOC team consists of more than 21,000 active-duty, DoD civilians and Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve (AFRC) professionals operating, maintaining, supporting, and defending the command’s strategic assets capable of deploying airpower to any area of the world.

Organization
Eighth Air Force is a Numbered Air Force assigned to Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC).

Eighth Air Force has six subordinate units:

-Two B-52H Stratofortress wings: 2d Bomb Wing (Barksdale AFB, Louisiana) and 5th Bomb Wing (Minot AFB, North Dakota).

-Two B-1B Lancer Wings: 7th Bomb Wing (Dyess AFB, Texas) and 28th Bomb Wing (Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota).

-One B-2 Spirit Wing: 509th Bomb Wing (Whiteman AFB, Missouri) that also flies the T-38 Talon trainer aircraft.

-595th Command and Control Group (Offutt AFB, Nebraska), which consists of the E-4B Nightwatch NAOC, 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron, 625th Strategic Operations Squadron, 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 595th Strategic Communications Squadron.

The 2d Bomb Wing, along with the 307th Bomb Wing (AFRC), located at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, conducts the primary mission of the installation with two squadrons of B-52H Stratofortress bombers and one training squadron. The 2d Bomb Wing, in concert with their Total Force Integration partner, provides flexible, responsive, global combat capability, and trains all Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Force Reserve B-52 crews.

The 5th Bomb Wing, located at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and its fleet of B-52H Stratofortress bombers serve as part of the Air Force's conventional and strategic combat force. The men and women of the wing are capable of flying anywhere around the world and delivering a wide range of precision-guided munitions

The 7th Bomb Wing, located at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, provides world-class Airmen and airpower for the warfighter. It is also charged with producing combat-ready aircrews in the Air Force's only B-1B formal training unit. The 489 Bomb Group serves as the host unit’s TFI partner, providing operations and maintenance support.

The 28th Bomb Wing, located at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, guarantees combat airpower for America. The base is home to more than 3,700 Airmen and is one of only two B-1B Lancer bases in the world. The 28th Bomb Wing is comprised of several wing staff agencies and four groups.

The 509th Bomb Wing, along with the 131st Bomb Wing (ANG), located at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, are the only two Air Force units to operate the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. The units can launch combat sorties directly from Missouri to any spot on the globe, engaging adversaries with large payloads of traditional or precision-guided munitions.

The 595th Command and Control Group, located at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, maintains 24-hour, 7-days-a-week alert, providing direct support to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff. They provide a highly survivable and enduring command, control and communications center for exercising national security responsibilities through all levels of conflict.

Other assets
There are two total force wings and one bomb group supporting Eighth Air Force: the 307th Bomb Wing (AFRC), Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, the 131st Bomb Wing (ANG), Whiteman AFB, Missouri, and the 489th Bomb Group (AFRC), which is the first and only B-1B Lancer unit in the Air Force Reserve and stationed with the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas.

Bomber Capabilities
The B-1 Bomber carries the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory. The multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America's long-range bomber force. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.

The B-2 Spirit is a long-range nuclear and conventional stealthy bomber. The bomber can fly at high subsonic speeds at altitudes that can reach 50,000 feet. Its unrefueled range is at least 6,000 nautical miles. The B-2 brings massive firepower, in a short time, anywhere on the globe through the most challenging defenses.

The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, nuclear and conventional heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The bomber can fly at high subsonic speeds at altitudes reaching 50,000 feet. It has an unrefueled combat range in excess of 8,800 miles, and can carry precision-guided ordnance with worldwide precision navigation.

The E-4B Nightwatch, a militarized version of the Boeing 747-200, is a four-engine, swept-wing, long-range high-altitude airplane capable of refueling in flight. The main deck is divided into six functional areas and may include seating for up to 112 people, including a joint-service operations team, Air Force flight crew, maintenance and security component, communications team and selected augmentees.

History
Feb. 1, 1942 - VIII Bomber Command activated at Langley Field, Va., and moved to England under its parent unit Eighth Air Force

Feb. 22, 1944 - U.S. Army Air Forces reorganized its air headquarters in Europe/Eighth Air Force became the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe

June 1946 – HQ Eighth Air Force moved to MacDill Field, Fla.

Jan. 1, 1975 – HQ Eighth Air Force moved to Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Aug. 24, 2018 – Joint-Global Strike Operations Center activated on Barksdale AFB, La.

Point of Contact
Eighth Air Force, Public Affairs Office, 245 Davis Ave. East., Room 152, Barksdale AFB, LA 71110; 318-529-1101; DSN 331-1101; e-mail: 8AF.PA.Workflow@us.af.mil

(Current as of August 2021)