Feb 17, 2012 10:07 AM by AP
BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) - U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is coming to Barksdale Air Force Base to say thank you to the men and women who keep the aircraft used for long-range bombing in top condition.
Panetta will present medals on Friday to airmen who have served in Afghanistan and other overseas locations.
He also will get briefings from top officials of Air Force Global Strike Command, which is in charge of the nation's nuclear arsenal - both land-based nuclear missiles and long-range nuclear bombers. The command is headquartered at Barksdale.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu will introduce Panetta at Barksdale. On Saturday, she will visit Fort Polk.