KSLA Salutes: BUFF Event Center at Barksdale
BAFB, La. (KSLA) - The BUFF Event Center at Barksdale is one of the first places an airmen visits when they arrive on base.
Oneyda McCoy is club manager at the BUFF Event Center on Barksdale Air Force Base. She’s over several facilities across base; the most recent addition is the Brew 52 Café, which opened this month.
Also at the BUFF Event Center: The E Zone for gaming and hanging out, a lounge and bar, lunch options and space to rent out for special events like meetings, weddings, and retirements, as well as the BUFF Club, a group designed to bring together the members of the Barksdale community by making friends by hosting events.
With several things for airmen to do, McCoy says having things like the BUFF Event Center on base builds up morale.
“We do it all,” McCoy said. “A lot of leadership and commanders bring their airmen, choose to have their meetings in here. I think it helps them when it comes to morale. It doesn’t feel like an office space and it helps them bond a little bit better. Also, everyone needs coffee to get through their day.”
Right Start, an orientation is hosted by the Airman & Family Readiness Center, also occurs twice a month at the Barksdale Club or the BUFF Event Center.
“This is their first stop,” McCoy said. “This is where they are told where everything is on base. I get to show them everything we have to offer. It’s a good one stop shop.”
McCoy knows firsthand adjusting to a new area. Before she got to Barksdale three years ago, she PCS’d to Turkey, Shaw AFB in South Carolina and Lackland AFB in Texas. She says it’s important to build a sense of community while on base.
“I’m a part of a spouses group,” McCoy said. “I understand how they feel. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. I created the Facebook page for the BUFF Event Center and I communicate with them through their as well. I tell them where we are located, I sent them locations of other things on base, and help them out. I think they communication when it’s one-on-one. There’s a lot of people on base, but we have a close-knit community. A lot of the commanders come out and help me out by spreading the word. They can talk to their airmen and in turn the airmen talk to their spouses.”
There are several things in the works for other areas of base. An e-gaming center is currently being created. McCoy is planning on putting another coffee shop on the other side of the base. She encourages everyone to come out and try the new coffee shop, grab a caramel macchiato and see what else the base has to offer.
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