Louisiana lawmakers and local elected and community leaders met with Air Force officials March 12 to press the case for leaving the service’s new numbered air force for cyber operations at Barksdale Air Force Base, which currently hosts the start-up entity. In a press release, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) noted that “the Bossier-Shreveport community has put a tremendous amount of effort behind positioning the region as a home base for cyber operations.” She added that they presented the advantages “clearly and eloquently,” noting, too, that the community over the past two years has committed $107 million to the region’s Cyber Innovation Center and additional funds for cyber research. Sen. David Vitter (R), in a separate release, said that he believes Barksdale is “well-positioned to serve as the permanent base” for both the new Cyber NAF and the new Air Force Global Strike Command. Barksdale is on the short list for both units, but other locales are also making strong pitches to the Air Force.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.