2 MSG: Lifeline for Barksdale

Airmen 1st Class Stephen Walker (left) and Cameron Curry, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, inventory chemical warfare bags to ensure no components expire within the next year in the supply warehouse on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 23. Supply Airmen ensure Barksdale Airmen have everything they need to perform the mission here and at deployed locations.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chad Warren)(RELEASED)

Airmen 1st Class Stephen Walker (left) and Cameron Curry, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, inventory chemical warfare bags to ensure no components expire within the next year in the supply warehouse on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 23. Supply Airmen ensure Barksdale Airmen have everything they need to perform the mission here and at deployed locations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chad Warren)(RELEASED)

Airman 1st Class Cameron Curry, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, moves a storage bin in the supply warehouse on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 23. Supply Airmen are a critical part of the 2nd Mission Support Group, ensuring Airmen receive the correct gear they need to perform missions here and around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chad Warren)(RELEASED)

Airman 1st Class Cameron Curry, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, moves a storage bin in the supply warehouse on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 23. Supply Airmen are a critical part of the 2nd Mission Support Group, ensuring Airmen receive the correct gear they need to perform missions here and around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chad Warren)(RELEASED)

Senior Airman Barry McCoy, 2nd Force Support Squadron, rolls towels in the fitness center on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 23. The fitness center is just one of the many facilities that fall under the command of the 2nd Mission Support Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chad Warren)(RELEASED)

Senior Airman Barry McCoy, 2nd Force Support Squadron, rolls towels in the fitness center on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 23. The fitness center is just one of the many facilities that fall under the command of the 2nd Mission Support Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chad Warren)(RELEASED)

Airman 1st Class Kayla Dordell, 2nd Force Support Squadron, serves Airman 1st Class Anthony Prochaska, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, in the Red River Dining Facility on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., June 29. The dining facility serves approximately 550 people per day, and offers healthy food choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kristin High)(RELEASED)

Airman 1st Class Kayla Dordell, 2nd Force Support Squadron, serves Airman 1st Class Anthony Prochaska, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, in the Red River Dining Facility on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., June 29, 2011. Food service is a vital part of the 2nd Mission Support Group mission. The Red River Dining Facility is currently undergoing renovations and is scheduled to reopen April 1. Until then, Airmen residing in the dorms are receiving Basic Allowance for Subsistence to offset the additional meal costs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kristin High)(RELEASED)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- The sun peeks through a broken window as it rises behind the once majestic 2nd Bomb Wing headquarters; its beige paint peeling and overgrown with vines due to lack of maintenance. The familiar sound of jets is replaced by distant car sirens and shouts from people looting throughout base. With no perimeter security or police patrols, Barksdale is vulnerable to anyone wishing to gain access, their actions unchecked. The lack of dining facilities causes hungry Airmen to steal food from other base facilities with no resistance.

No food, no police, no building or airfield maintenance; this is life at Barksdale without the 2nd Mission Support Group.

Obviously this scenario is an exaggeration, but the point is clear: Barksdale could not function without the 2 MSG.

"It's no exaggeration to say the MSG has a hand in virtually every aspect of what it takes to run a base and provide direct support to the missions that are executed from here," said Lt. Col. Michael Haddock, 2 MSG deputy commander. "For every plane that takes off, there is literally a team of MSG personnel playing a key role in making that happen, including everything from ensuring fuel availability and aircraft parts, to keeping the runway in good and operable condition."

The quality of life on-base is another aspect of Barksdale that would not be possible without Airmen from the 2 MSG, and more specifically the 2 FSS. The Airman and Family Readiness Center, Education Center, Child Development Center, Youth Center, Outdoor Recreation and the Auto Hobby Shop are several of the base facilities that fall under this unit.

"We provide the intangible infrastructure that enhances the quality of life for our Airmen, and enables them to focus on their own mission with the peace of mind they are being taken care of," said Master Sgt. Jonathan Krusinski, 2nd Force Support Squadron first sergeant.

With technology playing such a pivotal role in today's Air Force, a functioning network and adequate cyber security are vital for day to day operations. Maintaining this system is a crucial mission that goes largely unnoticed by the general base populace, said Krusinski.

"Nobody says, 'Man, the network is moving really fast today!' but they are quick to notice when it is not," he added.

While the contributions of these Airmen are not always as visibly apparent as a jet leaving the runway, the mission takes no less dedication by the members of the 2 MSG team.

"The proud Airmen of the 2 MSG have total commitment to the mission and to mission support, and are definitely motivated by wanting to make a difference," said Haddock. "In these times of dwindling resources and decreasing budgets, our people have again and again gone the extra mile to minimize the impact to Team Barksdale members and provide the absolute best we can in terms of base services and mission support on the flight line."

Without support, everything on Barksdale would grind to a halt. Although not quite the post-apocalyptic scene depicted earlier, it may not be too far off. With everything that falls under the support group, it is easy to see how life on-base would quickly deteriorate if these dedicated Airmen were not here to accomplish the mission.