Gen. Ray tours 2nd BW, fosters competition culture in Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Wrightsman
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, toured the 2nd Bomb Wing during an official visit Oct. 8.

Although AFGSC is headquartered at Barksdale, this was Ray’s first official visit since taking command in August 2018. Ray’s wife, Rhonda, also took time to tour the base and interact with Airmen and employees at various locations across base.

“This is my fourth time being stationed at Barksdale,” Ray said. “For some of my kids who have moved around their whole life, this is the closest thing to home.”

During his visit, Ray toured multiple squadrons, facilities and dormitories, while engaging with Airmen and wing leadership. Ray discussed the ever-changing threats to the nation and how AFGSC Airmen must strategically adapt to meet them.

“After the Cold War, our adversaries didn’t stop progressing,” Ray said. “In order to face these new challenges, our command and our Airmen need to return to the spirit of competition.”

During his stop at Barksdale’s Warrior Center, an alert facility designated to house on-call pilots, Ray talked about his time as a Barksdale B-52H Stratofortress pilot and squadron commander during the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I remember standing here and watching the TV when the second plane hit the south tower,” Ray said. “We heard the horn go off and we all ran out to our jets with our hearts in our throats. I’ll never forget it.”

Ray concluded his day with a visit to the 96th Bomb Squadron, the squadron he commanded from 2001 to 2003. There, he spoke to Airmen about their role in AFGSC’s mission of warfighting to support global strategic deterrence.

“You are going to be the centerpiece for the foreseeable future. There is no one coming to our rescue,” Ray said. “There are a lot of people counting on you in the world and we can’t let them down.”