According to MajaStevanovich

News and views on what matters to me: mindfulness, leadership, public relations, marketing, social media, pop culture and every now and then I will surprise you with something else.

Visit to the 917th Wing-Barksdale, Air Force Base

There are not too many jobs out there where those that work in them beam with bride each day and have amazing and interesting stories that seem to be never ending. Where there is no such thing as a typical or average day and could include anything from flying a jet, a bomber, packing parachutes, providing life support, or being responsible for every intricate part great air craft may need in order to perform their missions.

I had the honor of spending part of my day with various folks from the 917th Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command and got to learn about their remarkable mission and the part they take in national security. The 917th Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, is home to both A-10 and B-52 aircraft. The A-10 schoolhouse mission is to train A/O A-10 pilots in initial qualification, forward air control and night vision goggles. The B-52 combat mission is to employ the bomber in support of Air Force worldwide conventional commitments.

The pictures below document some of the amazing things I got to learn about.

B-52, The workhorse of the Air Force. This aircraft has been around since even before the Cold War and it is still performing today. It had to adapt and ready to respond to short notice taskings and has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

B-52's- Longest missions 36 hours, typical mission 10-12 hours.
Logistically tough to operate due to size, limited amount of runways. Can get 40 below zero when operating.

Inside a B-52 Cockpit


Eyes from the Sky: Troops on the ground request it, because they can hear it and see it. Those flying this aircraft recognize the importance of this responsibility and take the task of employing weapons very seriously.

Jet Engine Shop-the unsung heroes on the flight line. The camaraderie between pilots and the mechanics is unbelievable

Aircrew Flight Equipment-think football players have it good? Think again. Air Force pilots have an all-star team that is there for them prior to every mission. Each pilot has his or her own locker.

G-Suit, worn when the flier is pulling high g's, it self inflates at that time

GPS for aircraft

A-10 Ejection Simulator

A-10 Simulator

A-10 Simulator, glad this one didn't eject. I got a perfect idea from the visual, didn't need to actually experience it!

Survival Equipment, in case of a crash pilots rely on this type of equipment. They have also attended combat and water survival school. Their equipment mangers have also attended parts of survival school to familiarize themselves with what a pilot would be going through

It was truly inspirational to hear the amount of pride each and every person I spoke to have in his or her work and that service to country and teamwork are the driving factors to success.

Aside from all the work they do inside the base, the difference they make in the community, and especially for school aged children can’t be left out. The 917th Wing happens to be a sponsor for the STARBASE program, one of 60 national sites that offer a very important curriculum. The STARBASE program presents a 25-hour hands on/minds on aviation and aerospace curriculum to area 5th grade students and their teachers. Committed to addressing the critical needs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, STARBASE introduces its students to these education subjects, inspiring youth to further explore these topics in future course work. The STARBASE program enables the base to truly make a difference in the local Louisiana educational arena.

My day ended with getting a chance to ask one very important question to the ten people I had a chance to meet with….Why the Air Force? With the amount of team work happening it shouldn’t have been surprising to me that everyone’s answers had to deal with doing something extraordinary and bigger than themselves. Colonel John Mooney the 917th Wing Commander shared a story with me that really stuck out. Prior to joining the Air Force, he’s worked at a number of other jobs and the Air Force is the only place that has allowed him to serve his country while feeling like he’s made a difference at the end of each and every day. It is a true inspiration knowing that those that enter into service careers do so bearing great responsibility while not wanting to trade it for anything else in the world.

8 comments on “Visit to the 917th Wing-Barksdale, Air Force Base

  1. Rick Rice
    August 6, 2010

    My house guest and I really like this blog post… Good job.

  2. majastevanovich
    August 6, 2010

    Thank you for reading and glad you enjoyed it. It was such a fantastic experience! Air Force Live will be featuring the piece on Monday, so look for it then 🙂


  3. Glenn Mark Cassel
    August 7, 2010

    So when are you coming to Edwards for a visit with the 416 FLTS and the 912 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron?

  4. Maja
    August 7, 2010


    That would be great, I would love to, if I ever get out that way!


  5. Pingback: Visit to the 917th Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base–Passion for the Job | U.S. Air Force Live

  6. Glenn Mark Cassel
    August 15, 2010

    And for something really interesting, head out west to NAS Lemoore, CA. Home of Strike Fighter Wing, Pacific. Lots of them F/A-18 Hornets in both sizes, legacy and super.
    Sorry that the Corsair IIs are gone, though. And for me having done a tour in VA-147.
    The Super Hornet is going to be the mainstay airframe for the Navy for quite awhile. There is even a version for electronic warfare called the E/A-18G Growler.
    Gettin’ old, I guess.

  7. Pingback: » Visit to the 917th Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base–Passion for the Job

    May 7, 2013

    Hi there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was
    wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

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