Shreveport

Last Modified: September 13, 2008Military

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Shreveport has a long history of showing gracious hospitality for Louisiana’s brave soldiers that dates back to the Civil War when the Confederate Army fought its last battles in Louisiana. Today the Union Army is firmly encamped at Barksdale Air Force Base and Shreveport’s residents are grateful for the presence of the U.S. military and their $450 million per year contribution to the local economy. According to the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Barksdale Air Force base is the largest employer in the Shreveport-Bossier City Metropolitan Area with 6,231 active duty military personnel, 1,638 reservists and 1,937 civilian employees who receive a total annual income of $288.6 million. Barksdale is the home base for the 8th Air Force, the 2nd Bomb Wing, the 917th Wing, and the B-52 Stratofortress Bomber. First developed in 1955, the B-52 is still one of the Air Force’s primary weapons because it is capable of flying up to 650 mph at altitudes up to 50,000 ft. while transporting a full load of worldwide precision guided nuclear bombs.  

Shreveport has more than a few interesting military facilities
  

Shreveport is also home to the 2-108th Cavalry Squadron, a unit that has been assigned to the Louisiana and Georgia National Guards. Three of the squadron's four Cavalry Troops are located in an historic armory at 400 East Stoner Avenue known as Fort Humbug. Originally built during the Civil War by the Confederate Army and named Fort Turnbull, the fort was woefully short on cannon so somebody got the bright idea of cutting trees down and burning the trunks to make it look as if the fort was bristling with active cannon. After touring and inspecting this facility that was constructed to defend Shreveport, the State Capitol of Louisiana at that time, a Confederate Army General named John B. Magruder stated, “Your forts are only a humbug”. So Fort Turnbull became Fort Humbug.  

Another military facility that is of interest to many people is the 8th Air Force Museum located at 88 Shreveport Rd. near Barksdale Air Force Base. The museum features many authentic old airplanes and helicopters including a B-17G Flying Fortress, a B-29 Superfortress, a P-51 Mustang, a Soviet Mig-21, an SR-71 Blackbird, a Titan II nose cone, a B-58 Hustler rocket sled and a few old B-52 bombers. Admission to the museum is free of charge.