From cotton fields to the airfield you can see today, Barksdale Air Force Base has come a long way since it began 80 years ago and is now a vital part of the nation's defense.
"I can almost guarantee that Barksdale Air Force Base will never close," Col. Steve dePyssler (Ret) said.
dePyssler, 93, and Airman Ezekiel Racelis, 18, the base's oldest and youngest airmen, cut the anniversary cake today. DePyssler says he's been a volunteer at the base for 38 years and doesn't plan to quit.
"I have no plans of going down," he said. "I am 93, and I intend on staying here for as long as people want me. Let's look at the bottom line. The bottom line is as long as I can get here, and I feel like I am helping people."
He first arrived at Barksdale in the 1970s and spent most of his career here. dePyssler has watched it grow firsthand and is impressed.
"One hundred percent!" he said. "Of course, we didn't have Global Strike Command here at the time, and that's probably the biggest growth that we had."
dePyssler says base's importance and its B-52s make him believe it'll be around for several generations to come.
"We used to worry about, 'is the base going to be here? is the base going to close?'" dePyssler said. "We don't worry about that anymore. They're not going to close this base because the last place a B-52 bomber is going to be sent is right here."
Airman Ezekiel Racelis told KTBS he was surprised to find out he was the youngest airman at Barksdale and was proud to help cut the cake.