BARKSDALE AFB, LA (KSLA) - He is a husband, a father and an Air Force command pilot with over 4,700 hours in iconic aircraft like the B-52 and C-130.
Now he has a new role, serving as the commander of the 307th Bomb Wing on Barksdale. The Shreveport native and Southwood High graduate Col. Robert VanHoy II launched his Air Force career after graduating from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.
"I never thought of anything that ever happened, that I would end up being the 307 Bomb Wing Commander," VanHoy said.
He has more than 47-hundred hours in the B-52, C-130, T-38, & T-37.
"Met my wife while I was at UL, we spent about eight years apart while I was on active duty in Little Rock."
VanHoy spent 12 years on active duty, flying C-130s.
"After 12 years of service on active, we took a look at it from a family perspective, and felt that the best move for us that we enjoyed serving in the Air Force and in the nation's military, that it would be best for us to find other options and the reserves presented that option," VanHoy explained.
In 2002, VanHoy's service through the Air Force Reserves brought him home to Shreveport, serving as an instructor pilot and commander of the 93rd Bomb Squadron.
"It's been fantastic for us as a family. We are able to serve in the Air Force continue to do it through the reserves and also be able to provide what we needed in our family."
VanHoy and his wife, Tess, have been married for 26 years and have four children.
"I never thought I would come back home, and matter-of-fact, I used to come out here every year, the air show would end up with 'Holiday in Dixie' here at Barksdale, and I remember coming out and looking at all the airplanes," recalled VanHoy.
In July, Col. VanHoy assumed command of the 307th Bomb Wing.
"I've taken this on the responsibility of leading these individuals and making sure that we properly care not just for the people on the 307th, but also the people in the nation, the people in our community."
No stranger to the unit, VanHoy understands the impact the 307th has on the Air Force in its entirety and the caliber of airmen under his command.
"What we give back, and with the individuals give back in the 307th is absolutely incredible. It's an incredible opportunity for me, I only hope that I can live up to each one of their expectations," he said.