BARKSDALE AIR FORCE, La. --
Eighth Air Force received its 54th commander following a change of command ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Aug. 20, 2018.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr. assumed command from Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, who diligently served 8th Air Force for the past two years. Bussiere will now bring his experience as 8th Air Force’s commander to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska, where he will serve as the commander for the 11th Air Force, Alaskan NORAD Region, and Alaskan Command.
Dawkins comes from the Pentagon, where he served as the deputy director for Nuclear, Homeland Defense and Current Operations. He was responsible for advising the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff Director of Operations regarding nuclear, reconnaissance, space, homeland and missile defense operations. He has also held a variety of positions to include 5th Bomb Wing commander, 509th Operations Group commander and director for Strategic Capabilities Policy at the National Security Council.
Dawkins now brings that high-level experience here to 8th Air Force and the Joint-Global Strike Operations Center (J-GSOC).
As commander of 8th Air Force, Dawkins will be responsible for America’s premier B-1, B-2 and B-52 bomber force, overseeing bomber task force missions and mission planning elements conducted by J-GSOC as well as making sure Airmen and their families are well cared for.
“It is an honor to be a part of ‘The Mighty Eighth,’ said Dawkins. It’s an awesome responsibility and a mission that is crucial to the defense of our nation and its allies. I will do all that is within my power to continue accomplishing this critical mission and to ensure the welfare of our Airmen and their families.”