SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - With Barksdale delivering an economic impact far above three quarters of a billion dollars, Louisiana’s congressional delegation keeps a close eye on the Air Force base.
And that doesn't even begin to explain the lead role Barksdale plays in the nuclear defense of our country.
Kennedy said it is critical to look at Barksdale on the largest of scales in global strategic deterrence.
"This base is in large part responsible for our nuclear defense."
Kennedy was referring specifically to Air Force Global Strike Command, which has had its headquarters at Barksdale since 2009.
"It's impossible to overstate the importance of Barksdale to the defense of the free world."
Global Strike Command controls two legs of the nuclear triad - the ICBM force, and our nuclear-capable strategic bomber fleet, which includes B-52s stationed at Barksdale.
The base also is the largest employer in the area. Barksdale reports a total of about 15,000 civilian employees and military personnel working at the Air Force base.
That has Kennedy and Johnson ensuring Congress keeps the installation properly funded.
Kennedy described construction of a Barksdale entrance road and gateway as one project underway that is very important. He vowed to keep funding flowing to complete that project and others.
Johnson cited what he called extraordinary leadership at Barksdale, particularly for efficiency.
"This has been a model here of how the leadership here has done that. They've looked at projects on the table and seen how we can maximize efficiency and save cost."
You might hear all about Barksdale being connected to the community, the people, the businesses like Cafe USA. But that doesn’t really do it justice. For example, half of Cafe USA’s customers are from Barksdale.