Barksdale's Mission Could Change

"Common Battlefield Airmen Training" or CBAT, is the U.S. Air Force's answer to a growing need for battle- ready troops. "How to react to an enemy ambush, giving them some more combat skills training and of course physical training," says Lt. Colonel John Bukinowski with the U.S. Air Force. It's training that teaches those who fly, how to fight on the ground, and it will be conducted on a training facility 9,000 acres large, and includes 166 new buildings on base. "Of course the base itself is over 20,000 acres and the east reservation provides a lot of opportunity," says Barksdale Forward, and former Bossier City Mayor, Don Jones. The other two bases being considered are in Georgia, and Tennessee. Barksdale has to prove it can handle the mission. "They will ask us questions about how many support people we have, can we support 14,000 students a year," says Barksdale Commander, Colonel Dan Charchian. He says it can handle the misssion, but today's meeting was held for the public to ask questions and to allow the Air Force to present it's strategy. Jones says Barksdale is a perfect fit. "For Barksdale to have the hopes for receiving a new mission... one as large as this would be wonderful, not just for Barksdale, but the economic impact throughout the entire community," says Jones. Big changes could be in store for Barksdale, changes that could effect the entire community around it.