Barksdale AFB FAQ

Installation Info: Zip Code: 71110, Area Code: 318, DSN: 781

When Barksdale Air Force Base was built next to Shreveport, La., in 1931, it was the world's largest airfield, covering 22,000 acres. The Air Force uses only 2,000 of those acres today, while the other 20,000 stand as a wild game reserve. Barksdale has served in a number of different roles over its history. The first air group based there trained for air-to-air combat. During the 1940s, the base's mission went from training pursuit and fighter crews to bombers. The 17th Bomb Group, led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle in its bomb raid on Tokyo, trained at Barksdale before coming under Doolittle's command. During WWII, French and Chinese air crews also trained at Barksdale.

The Barksdale mission is to provide global combat capability and train all B-52 crews.

Local schools are off base and operated by the Bossier Parish or Caddo Parish school districts.

Active-duty personnel can enroll themselves and their families into Tricare and have their records reviewed for immunizations, dental and preventive health assessment requirements. To make this in-processing work, it is important for people to bring their medical records, dental records, shot records, local address or unit orderly room address and family members' Social Security numbers (used for Tricare enrollment -- the sponsor's Social Security number alone is not sufficient to enroll families). Local hospitals, which include the Bossier Medical Center (three miles away), HCA-Highland Hospital (four miles), Louisiana State University Medical Center & Medical School (five miles) provide inpatient care.

Fun and exercise can be found at the golf course; pools; aero club; gyms; tennis courts; bowling lanes; softball and sports fields; archery range; all-terrain vehicle trails; boating; hiking; stables; recreation center; and game reserve.