Air Force Reserve Command officials are making organizational changes at Barksdale AFB, La., to improve Reservists’ support of B-52 bomber operations there. On Jan. 1, AFRC will inactivate Barksdale’s 917th Wing, which consists today of B-52 squadrons and an A-10 ground-attack unit, wing spokeswoman Jessica d’Aurizio, told the Daily Report Monday. At the same time, the command will reactivate the 307th Bomb Wing, a unit with a Cold War heritage, to subsume those B-52 units: the 93rd Bomb Squadron, 343rd BS, plus maintenance and support elements. The 93rd BS is the Air Force’s sole B-52 schoolhouse, while 343rd BS airmen support the operations of Barksdale’s active duty 2nd BW. Meanwhile, the inactivating 917th Wing’s A-10s of the 47th Fighter Squadron will remain at Barksdale, but transfer to the organizational control of AFRC’s 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., said d’Aurizio. These moves will “make us more efficient and allow us to concentrate on the B-52 mission,” she said. The 47th FS is transitioning from a training unit to combat-coded status, she noted. Barksdale will host a ceremony on Jan. 8, with Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, Air Force Reserve chief, presiding, to mark these changes, she said.
A majority of panelists convened by the Atlantic Council to assess the situation in Ukraine believe that Russia will have enough forces—and recent practice in Belarus—to invade Ukraine within a month. A senior Air Force official concurred, saying the service expects the conflict soon.