BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
Team Barksdale welcomed the newest commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing, the host wing of Barksdale, during a change of command ceremony at Hoban Hall, July 23, 2020.
Col. Mark C. Dmytryszyn assumed command from Col. Michael Miller in a ceremony officiated by 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander, Maj. Gen. Mark E. Weatherington.
“Airmen of the Mighty Deuce, you're placing trust in me. I acknowledge the leap of faith that requires,” Dmytryszyn said to an audience of approximately 120 Airmen and civilian personnel, and to an additional audience of more than 150 people watching via video live stream as the wing continues following social distancing guidelines and preventative health measures in response to COVID-19.
Dmytryszyn spoke extensively of the wing's historical significance through past and present conflicts and challenged Airmen to continue contributing to Barksdale's legacy by being effective leaders.
”To be ready for tomorrow, we -- from me to and through you will need to lead. Fortunately, leadership generates leadership as it multiplies its way deeper into an organization," Dmytryszyn said. "Our combined and cascading leadership will mobilize each other up and down the chain and laterally beyond our unit boundaries to our myriad mission partners. That leadership will mobilize us to embrace and exhibit our valued contributions enabling each of us to act upon our ownership in the mission, spring boarding us into making motivated, collaborative and innovative choices."
Weatherington said Dmytryszyn’s leadership is paramount toward guiding the 2nd BW into the future while continuing to enable the B-52H Stratofortress of providing the Department of Defense with long-range nuclear and conventional combat capabilities. He then spoke on the challenges and responsibilities entrusted with base commander's such as Dmytryszyn.
“While this ceremony today may look and feel a little different than we are accustomed to, it remains the familiar and fitting transition from one remarkable Air Force leader and his family to another,” Weatherington said. “We have thousands of colonels in our Air Force, yet less than 20 percent of those officers that are commissioned reach O-6 rank, and only a few will command a group or an O-6 squadron or field activity. Even fewer will command a wing ... Each one of those wing commander's is charged with leading a team of teams with peer commanders at the group level, diverse missions and operations and a wide range of responsibilities from day to day administrative tasks, military justice, care and feeding of the force, caring for families, sustaining weapons systems, leading policy implementation, operations and so much more. Here at Barksdale that includes a force of more than 11,000 military and civilian Airmen, 6,300 dependents and 25,000 local retirees."
In his final remarks, Dmytryszyn expressed his appreciation toward the community.
“We as Strikers of both the 2nd Bomb Wing and Team Barksdale, and as appreciative members of the host communities of Shreveport and Bossier ... will remain uncompromising in our pursuit of offering a safe, secure and welcoming installation,” he said. "We will grow bold and sought after ready Airmen - Airmen who reside in the community that we love to call home. Together we will provide the nation with winning combat power through conventional and nuclear global strike, to worldwide deployable Airmen and through a resilient and flourishing community."
Dmytryszyn is the 64th commander to lead the base since Barksdale first opened its gates in 1933. His previous assignments include Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve deputy commander-support, Iraq; 9th Air Force chief of staff, Shaw AFB, N.C.; and Pacific Air Forces chief of strategy and plans division, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. He has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours in the B-52H Stratofortress and multiple other airframes. His decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters.