307th Bomb Wing reactivates at Barksdale

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jeff Walston
  • 307th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
A crowd of more than 900 witnessed Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., commander of Air Force Reserve Command, preside over ceremonies deactivating the 917th Wing, re-designating the 917th Operations Group as the 917th Fighter Group and reactivating of the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Jan. 8, 2011.

Brig. Gen. John J. Mooney III, commander, 307th Bomb Wing, accepted the wing's colors from the presiding officer and in doing so accepted the charge of leading the members of his command and upholding the unit's honor and traditions, as well as the mission of the new Air Force Reserve wing.

General Mooney said he was thankful for the opportunity he has been given to lead the AFRC and 10th Air Force in strengthening the nuclear enterprise of this great nation.

"The 307th Bomb Wing is first and foremost a combat wing with a sole focus on strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike. We will embrace 'Deter and Assure.' At our heart will be a culture of rigorous compliance and continued dedication to excellence," General Mooney said.

The new Air Force Reserve wing will also focus on B-52 aircrew training and the bombing mission.

The 307th Bomb Wing was activated as the 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in 1942. The unit was deactivated on Sept. 30, 1975, after the end of the Vietnam War.

The 307th BW will report to the Tenth Air Force, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Ft. Worth, Texas, and will be gained by the Air Force Global Strike Command. Headquarters Air Force at the Pentagon directed these new actions in support of AFGSC which is also located at Barksdale and will oversee Air Force nuclear weapons training and operations at the new unit.

Scattered through the audience at Hoban Hall for the reactivation ceremony were approximately 40 alumni of the 307th Bomb Wing from the Korean, Vietnam and Cold War eras. Most traveled many miles to witness the reactivation.

"I expected this would be my last great adventure," said Master Sgt. (Ret) Loren Longman, an 88 year-old veteran of the 307th, who traveled from Tampa, Fla., by car. "It was my honor to be a part of the reactivation."

To show the alumni how their heritage will be kept alive, they were escorted through the 307th BW headquarters building where historic artifacts and photos are prominently displayed throughout the hallways. Many of the veterans expressed their gratitude for the unexpected briefings at B-52 and A-10 displays after the ceremonies.

"Today we are in the company of patriots, hero's, members of the greatest generation ... the legacy of the 307th Bomb Wing is legendary, from Wake Island to Rabaul - YAP - TRUK - PALAU - BALIKAN - 5,800 SORTIES OVER KOREA AND ARC LIGHT SORTIES DURING VIETNAM. We are honored to have been chosen to continue this great heritage," said General Mooney.

As General Mooney concluded his remarks, he looked out into the audience and spoke to the men and women of the 917th FG and 307th BW.

"In you, I see the highly disciplined and elite team of citizen Airmen who are undertaking this mission, fully understanding the special trust and responsibility placed on us by our nation for the most powerful weapons in its arsenal. Thank you for your commitment and service. I know you will make the two organizations that stood up here today the finest in the AFRC and the U.S. Air Force ... Thank you."