BAFB, La. (KSLA) - This summer Barksdale Air Force Base welcomed back Colonel Mark Dmytryszyn to serve as the newest 2nd Bomb Wing commander, and the 64th commander, to lead the base.
“My nickname is Vanna,” Col. Dmytryszyn said. “It’s a Wheel of Fortune reference because I need to buy a vowel.”
He assumed command from Col. Michael Miller in a ceremony in July.
“To be ready for tomorrow, we -- from me to and through you will need to lead. Fortunately, leadership generates leadership as it multiplies its way deeper into an organization,” Dmytryszyn said at the ceremony. “Our combined and cascading leadership will mobilize each other up and down the chain and laterally beyond our unit boundaries to our myriad mission partners. That leadership will mobilize us to embrace and exhibit our valued contributions enabling each of us to act upon our ownership in the mission, spring boarding us into making motivated, collaborative and innovative choices.”
Born and raised in central Minnesota, Colonel Dmytryszyn graduated from the University of Minnesota, joined the Air Force through ROTC in college and has traveled across the world serving his country ever since.
“A friend of mine at the University of Minnesota, we were in aerospace engineering together, said he was in ROTC and wanted me to check it out,” Dmytryszyn said. “I did, I signed up and I got into it. Next thing I knew I was a commissioned officer in the Air Force and I’ve been here since 1999. I think this is my 18th instillation I’ve been at in a 21-year career.”
He has served in a variety of positions, ranging from the Pacific Air Forces chief of strategy and plans division in Hawaii, to the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve deputy commander-support in Iraq. His newest roles have brought him to Barksdale.
“I serve as the Senior Commander for the 2nd Bomb Wing and it’s lead missions in providing long-range strike capabilities to the nation with our B-52s and all the personnel that support that,” Col. Dmytryszyn said. “Whether your a maintainer or a logistician or you work in the medical clinic or your driving a bulldozer. I also serve as the instillation commander which supports our two major headquarters: Air Force Global Strike Command, commanded by General Ray, and 8th Air Force, which is commanded by Major General Weatherington and 32 other tenant units that are here so it’s not just the air planes and the flight line that’s behind me, but it’s all of our residents, tenants, and by extension the 25,000 veterans that visit us day in and day out.”
Throughout his career, he’s been stationed at Barksdale three times.
“Third time stationed here along with having been here twice before for extended training opportunities so it’s kind of a second home,” Col. Dmytryszyn said. “I was here in 2001 learning to fly the B-52. I was actually here on 9/11 when Air Force One came in on that fateful day. I then came back for an assignment to a sister unit here called the 340th Weapons Squadron. They teach advanced weapons and tactics to our aviators. So I got to spend three years here not in the 2nd Bomb Wing, but at Barksdale Air Force Base and now I’m back here in command.”
He’s accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours; his decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters.
The Air Force’s three core values: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all that you do, as well as a strong sense of family and community, have been guiding principals throughout his decorated career.
“The core that comes from the family has really been a driving factor to all of the airmen, myself, everyone I have commanded, everyone I’ve worked alongside of, everyone I’ve been responsible for, but really everyone I’ve had the privilege of working next to,” Col. Dmytryszyn said. “Family sets that condition and we are all family here in uniform.”
He says he is excited to be back at Barksdale and is ready to lead.
“It’s great to be with a combat unit prepping for a combat mission,” Dmytryszyn said. “We hope that we never have to display our exploits but we are prepared to do so at the orders of our senior leaders. We are here to compete, deter if we have to and if we are forced into combat we will make sure we will win of behalf of the President and the 330 million Americans we defend day in and day out.”