Barksdale Air Force Base is one of those Air Force installations that’s pretty darn great. Who are we kidding? Most AF installations are spectacular. But the thing that sets Barksdale apart is its location and its mission. For nearly 100 years, it’s been serving the Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas areas. At one time in its legendary history, Barksdale was the world’s largest airfield with more than 22,000 acres for training. As a key Air Force Global Strike Command base, Barksdale AFB has a pivotal role in providing a large part of the nation’s deterrent force.
Because of its climate and the large military presence in the region, Barksdale is a favorite location for lots of retirees. So, expect a robust community when you call this Air Force base home! Barksdale also hosts the Defenders of Liberty airshow. Find out more about this dynamic air show here.
Expect a lower-than-average cost of living at Barksdale. On average, the weather is fairly humid but not unbearable. Daily temps hover around 710F. The rainiest month is December. Expect less than half an inch of snow.
Barksdale Air Force Base Location
Located in the Bossier Parish of Bossier City, Louisiana, Barksdale Air Force Base is about two and a half hours east of Dallas, Texas. It’s three hours west of Jackson, Mississippi. You’ll also enjoy access to several other large metropolitan areas in the surrounding Ark-La-Tex area. That’s how locals refer to the tri-state region of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.
Barksdale is located on the southern side of Bossier City. You can easily access it from Interstates 20 and 49.
Heading to Barksdale from the east? Travel east on I-20 then take exit 22. Turn left at the traffic light. Take another left onto Old Minden Road (LA-72). Be sure you stay in the right lane. This road merges onto Northgate Drive and ends conveniently at the Bossier gate.
If you’re heading to base from the west on I-20E, take the US 71S/Barksdale Boulevard Exit 20C. Then turn left at the sixth traffic light onto Barksdale Blvd (Hwy 71). The Shreveport Gate is about half a mile down the road.
Traveling from the south is easiest using I-49 . First, exit onto Bert Kouns Industrial Loop. Stay on this road until 70th Street crosses the Red River into Bossier City. Next, turn left at the intersection of 70th Street and U.S. Highway 71. Continue through five traffic lights then turn right into the Shreveport gate.
If you travel to Barksdale by plane, you’ll arrive at the Shreveport Regional Airport. This small hub serves five airlines to just seven destinations. However, there are more than 40 daily scheduled arriving and departing times, so you shouldn’t have an issue getting here!
Unfortunately, there’s no military shuttle to take you from the airport to their installation. However, you can use a taxi or rent a car.
Flying will be most convenient for you, but PCSing with your POV might be better since you’ll have a way to tour the area and see what all the Ark-La-Tex area has to offer.
Gates and Hours
Barksdale has four gates. Shreveport and Bodcau are both 24/7.
Bossier (North) Gate: Open year from 0545 – 1800.
Bodcau (South) Gate: Open 24/7
Industrial (East) Gate: Open to all outbound-only traffic 0545 – 1800. Inbound passenger vehicles have access Monday – Friday from 0630 – 0800. Closed on holidays.
Shreveport (West) Gate: Open 24/7
Contacts at Barksdale Air Force Base
Airman & Family Readiness Center (318) 456-8400
Arts & Crafts (318) 456-3140
Auto Hobby & Repair (318) 456-4695
Barber Shop – Exchange (318) 588-5088
Barksdale Inn – Holtzen Hall (877) 261-5265
Base Training & Education Services (BTES) (318) 456-2615
Beauty Salon – Exchange (318) 746-5930
Bowling Center – Barksdale Lanes (318) 456-4133
Chapel (318) 456-2151
Child Development Center (318) 456-2735
Civilian Personnel (318) 456-3288
Class Six (318) 746-5662
Commissary – Barksdale AFB (318) 456-8263
Defense Finance and Accounting Service (888) 332-7411
EFMP (318) 456-8700
Embroidery Shop (318) 549-1050
Equipment Rental (318) 456-3426
Exchange (BX) (318) 746-6429
Express Shoppette – Capehart (318) 741-5964
FamCamp (318) 456-2679
Family Child Care (318) 456-9688
Fire Department (318) 456-2642
Firestone Car Care Center (318) 747-6888
Fitness Center (318) 456-4135
Flight Kitchen (318) 456-8167
Frame Shop (318) 456-5644
Golf Course – Fox Run (318) 456-4195
Honor Guard (318) 456-5859
Housing Office (318) 456-4791
Human Resources Office (318) 456-3243
ID Card Section/DEERS – Barksdale (318) 456-3710
Information, Tickets & Travel (ITT) (318) 456-1866
Iron Airmen Facility (318) 456-1119
Laundry Dry Cleaner & Alterations (318) 742-0133
Leadership School (318) 456-3298
Legal Office (318) 456-2562
Library (318) 456-4101
Manpower & Organization (318) 456-4247
Medical Clinic (318) 456-8481
Military Clothing Store (318) 746-6429
Operator (318) 781-1110
Optical Shop (318) 746-6060
Outdoor Recreation (318) 456-3426
Pool (318) 456-3482
Red River Dining Facility (DFAC) (318) 456-8068
Safe Helpline – Sexual Assault (877) 995-5247
School Liaison Officer (318) 456-8400
Security Police (318) 456-2551
Veterinary Clinic (318) 456-3923
Welcome Center (318) 456-4984
Wood Shop (318) 456-3409
Youth Programs (318) 456-3448
Mission and Units
The mission at Barksdale is simple. “Protect the liberties of our nation with unmatched long-range strike capabilities.” Its vision includes have a 2D Bomb Wing of successful and ready Airmen while supporting one another. Priorities for the installation include integrity, service, and excellence.
Barksdale AFB hosts the 2nd Bomb Wing, the oldest wing in the Air Force. You’ll also find the 2nd Operations Group, 2nd Maintenance Group, 2nd Mission Support Group, and the 2nd Medical Group embedded on base. The base is also home to the “Mighty Eighth,” of WWII legends.
Barksdale Air Force Base History
The installation is named in honor of Lt. Eugene Barksdale, Army Air Corps who lost his life while testing a Douglas O-2 observation plane over McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio.
Construction began in 1931 and was completed a year later. Shortly after, the 20th Pursuit Group and the 3rd Attack Wing arrived at base. Barracks were added in 1936 and 1937. In May 1940, the installation hosted practice mar maneuvers. This led the way to the base becoming a training center for pursuit pilots and bomber crews.
During the Cold War, Barksdale was reassigned to the Strategic Air Command and became the headquarters of the Second Air Force.
Since its inception, it’s remained a training center and has supported both fueling and basing missions around the world. The first bombing sortie of Operation Desert Storm launched from Barksdale. Following the 9/11 attacks on America, Barksdale served as President Bush’s secure shelter. Here’s the story of the iconic 9/11 light memorial. During OIF and OEF, the base served as the nexus of several missions.
Recently in 2022, Barksdale upgraded its Nuclear Command, Control and Communications system for the first time in 30 years. The Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal allows for new two-way reliable communication with wing command posts, munition support squadrons, and mobile support teams.
Things to Do Around Barksdale Air Force Base
Before venturing off the installation, make sure you check out the Barksdale Global Power Museum. There, you’ll find historical aircraft and artifacts from the base’s history.
Comfort Suites Bossier City – Shreveport East (318) 742-3444
Hilton Garden Inn Shreveport Bossier City (318) 759-1950
Holiday Inn Shreveport Downtown (318) 222-7717
Quality Inn & Suites (318) 742-7890
Foodies will want to check out the local Creole, Cajun, and Tex-Mex cuisines. These three distinct cuisines all offer plenty to explore and try. Since the area is such a hodgepodge of culinary delights, your options really are endless. Of course, you won’t want to miss out on crawfish, red beans and rice, and gumbo. If it’s time for something sweet, beignets are legendary and come Mardi Gras season, King Cake has to be on your list.
Airmen families will want to take advantage of the lush landscape that surrounds the base. There are plenty of parks, but the best is probably Water Town. It’s about 20 miles from the installation and it features plenty of waterslides, a wave pool, and a lazy river. It’s the perfect place to spend a Saturday in summer! You might also want to check out Toledo Bend. It’s the largest surface area lake in the south and the fifth largest in the country.
Nearby Shreveport gives you access to all the shopping and entertainment options you want. Be sure to check out the Louisiana Boardwalk. Shop and then get a bite to eat at the riverfront.
Barksdale Air Force Base Housing
Hunt Military Communities owns and manages on-base housing. You can choose from five different neighborhoods, each offering distinct floor plans and residence styles. Speak with the Military Housing Office for more information, including housing wait times. Four neighborhoods are for enlisted Airmen only. One is for senior NCOs and junior officers.
Barksdale’s location means you can easily find housing off-base if that works best for your family. Shreveport is the third-largest city in the state and has a robust population of around 200,000 people. Bossier City is part of the base, but its population is much smaller. It hovers around 56000 people and offers a really fresh riverfront community.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that Airmen ranks E1-E3 and E4s with less than four years of service are required to live in the barracks.
Schools Near Barksdale Air Force Base
Unfortunately, there are no DoDEA schools offered on base. However, there are almost 40 public schools located in both BOssier Parish and the Caddo Public School District. Call the School Liaison Officer for more information about new enrollment, homeschooling options, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What county is Barksdale AFB in?
Barksdale is located in Bossier Parish.
Are civilians allowed on Barksdale AFB?
Of course, but you’ll need to visit the Visitor’s Control Center first and be accompanied by a DoD ID card holder to gain access.
How many Air Force bases are in Louisiana?
Barksdale is the only Air Force installation in the entire state.
Is Barksdale AFB a nuke base?
Not anymore! Recently, all nuclear weapons that were stored at Barksdale were removed.