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B-52 Squadron Change of Command at Barksdale AFB Makes History

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Courtesy: Will Schlitzer
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HISTORIC CHANGE OF COMMAND - There was a special historic event that took place yesterday afternoon at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier, Louisiana. For the first time in its history, the command of the 96th Bomb Squadron will be held by a woman. Lt. Col. Vanessa Wilcox will assume command of the 96th Bomb Squadron, of the 2d Operations Group. During the change of command ceremony, Wilcox gave credit to the group leadership at Barksdale for creating a good working environment.

“…you’ve created an environment where we have been able to grow and be the leaders that we were meant to be; not fit in some mold that was created long ago,” Wilcox said.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan, 2nd BW/Public Affairs
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Lt Col. Vanessa Wilcox, incoming 96th Bomb Squadron commander, reveals her name on a B-52H Stratofortress flagship after a change of command ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 21, 2022. The B-52 flagship is known as the “Spirit of Shreveport/Bossier”.

Wilcox previously served as the Deputy Commander for the 2d Mission Support Group at Barksdale and is a former B-52 Radar Navigator. She is also a mother of two daughters. The 96th Bomb Squadron is a unit of the United States Air Force 2d Operations Group located at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. It is equipped with the Boeing B-52H Stratofortress and is engaged in the global war on terrorism.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.