Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Combat-ready for 50 years: B-52s fly past another milestone
Air Force Link ^ | 3/17/2006 | Stephanie Bemrose

Posted on 03/17/2006 4:15:52 PM PST by magellan

The B-52 Stratofortress reached a milestone March 12 with the 50th anniversary of the first B-52 wing being declared combat-ready.

The 93rd Bombardment Wing was declared combat-ready March 12, 1956, after being activated June 29, 1955.

Although it had been declared combat-ready for 10 years, the first time a B-52 was involved in combat wasn’t until June 18, 1965, when aircrews were involved in Vietnam, said Buck Rigg, 8th Air Force museum director.

The decision to declare the 93rd BW, and all other bombardment units that followed, combat-ready was historically significant in two ways, Mr. Rigg said.

"The first was that America now had at its disposal the professionals who could meet any expectation the world might create, flying the ultimate in long-range bombardment aircraft, the B-52," Mr. Rigg said. "By having the B-52 crews combat certified, we could rest assured that the crews were well-trained and most importantly, disciplined to carry out any assigned task, anywhere around the world."

Mr. Rigg said the second historical significance the combat-ready decision had was in the two missions the B-52s had in the 1950s -- high-altitude, long-range bombardment and reconnaissance.

"These (new) missions and capabilities would become one of our greatest strengths," Mr. Rigg said. "And this would eventually lead to the end of the Cold War."

The adaptability of the B-52 has made the difference since the combat-ready decision was made, said Lt. Col. Parker Northrup, 11th Bomb Squadron commander.

"No other strike platform has demonstrated the versatility necessary to meet national security requirements across the spectrum of conflict: from current-day Afghanistan, the Cold War and Desert Storm; from small-scale contingencies to superpower politics of the Cold War," the colonel said.

B-52 aircrews continue to have a positive impact in the world, said Capt. Chad Bigelow, 11th BS instructor pilot.

"With our global strike capability, we continue to be a powerful and flexible asset for the combatant commander," he said.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this event and the anniversary of training B-52 aircrews, Colonel Northrup and Captain Bigelow were part of a fly-over at the former Castle Air Force Base, Calif., March 13.

While this fly-over was a celebration of the past, Colonel Northrup said the flight was also a glimpse into the future because the concept of end-to-end electronic execution, or Four Echo, was initiated during the flight.

"Even though we are commemorating these events and pushing forward on new technologies, we are still a combat-ready unit and conducting formal B-52 training on this flight," the colonel said.

Captain Bigelow said this test is part of the continuous adaptation of new technologies and techniques for the evolving nature of warfare.

"The Four Echo test is a definite step toward this goal -- adapting technologies to reduce inefficiencies in our training practices," Captain Bigelow said.

As for the far future, Colonel Northrup said he hopes someone will look back and see that current B-52 crews were good stewards of the airplane’s history.

"It’s exciting to be fortunate enough to be in the cockpit of an airplane as it passes through 50 years of combat readiness and training -- all the while knowing it can serve another 30," the colonel said.

Captain Bigelow agreed.

"The B-52 is not a dying airframe," the captain said. "We continue to adopt new roles, making us more flexible in a war-time environment, becoming more useful to combatant commanders. The Four Echo test is the first step to validate the utility of this new technology and help create a model for its use in training future crews."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: airforce; b52; iran; iraq; usaf
Someone over 50 your can trust.
1 posted on 03/17/2006 4:15:56 PM PST by magellan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: magellan
Really?


2 posted on 03/17/2006 4:17:36 PM PST by Clemenza (Seattle: The Pesto of Cities --- George Costanza)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan

BUFF ping


3 posted on 03/17/2006 4:18:07 PM PST by Echo Talon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan

The joke in the Air Force is that when the last B-2 goes into storage, its crew will be taken home on a B-52.


4 posted on 03/17/2006 4:19:33 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (Real Leaders Base Their Decisions on Their Convictions. Wannabes Base Decisions on the Latest Poll.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan
I hope in the next 50 years, some creature comforts for the nav and bombardier can be offered.

Those poor guys ride virtually in the wheel wells for hours on end.

5 posted on 03/17/2006 4:21:11 PM PST by llevrok (Drink your beer damnit !! There are people in Africa sober.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat

ping


6 posted on 03/17/2006 4:22:11 PM PST by Paul_Denton (The U.N. Building. What a joke! They turned it into low rent housing. It's a dump.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan

7 posted on 03/17/2006 4:22:12 PM PST by JRios1968 (A DUmmie troll's motto: "Non cogito, ergo zot")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Echo Talon
They beat the North Vietnamese. They would have won the Cold War. They Kicked the stuff out of the Iraqis twice. Give that plane and their pilots a freaking Medal, please.

W1,2X!

8 posted on 03/17/2006 4:22:28 PM PST by Thebaddog (Dogs are the best! Cats are cool 2.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: COEXERJ145
"...The joke in the Air Force is that when the last B-2 goes into storage, its crew will be taken home on a B-52..."

And the joke in Columbus, Ohio is that when the last B52 is rendered honors, before being scrapped, it will be by the Swift Boat veterans.

Come to think of it, who better to render hand salute to a class of veterans, aluminum or not, who sailed the deep burning blue well past the time they should have been allowed to enjoy their grandchildren in peace.

Prepared to render honors...wait for it... RENDER.

9 posted on 03/17/2006 4:25:19 PM PST by pickrell (Old dog, new trick...sort of)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Thebaddog

sweet plane.


10 posted on 03/17/2006 4:25:29 PM PST by Echo Talon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: magellan

11 posted on 03/17/2006 4:25:29 PM PST by rocksblues (John McCain says adopt a terrorist today!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan
With grateful thanks to the USAF Museum Photo Archives
and SAC professionals who kept the peace.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
12 posted on 03/17/2006 4:26:11 PM PST by mkjessup (The Shah doesn't look so bad now, eh? But nooo, Jimmah said the Ayatollah was a 'godly' man.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan

Praising their crews, I'll post one:

Master Sgt. H.W. Jewell, USAF retired

(may he rest in peace... 20 + years of his life serving his country).


13 posted on 03/17/2006 4:26:41 PM PST by antceecee (Reagan Democrat and now a Bush Republican...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan

14 posted on 03/17/2006 4:27:05 PM PST by Delta 21 ( Democrats -- a 40 year war on poverty and still no exit strategy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan

 

ALL YOUR BASE...........

For real!

15 posted on 03/17/2006 4:27:07 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan

16 posted on 03/17/2006 4:28:11 PM PST by JRios1968 (A DUmmie troll's motto: "Non cogito, ergo zot")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan

17 posted on 03/17/2006 4:28:34 PM PST by FoxInSocks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan

18 posted on 03/17/2006 4:28:44 PM PST by JRios1968 (A DUmmie troll's motto: "Non cogito, ergo zot")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan
Thank you General Lemay!


19 posted on 03/17/2006 4:30:53 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FoxInSocks

Maj. Gen. Buck Tergis :"I love to watch them babies come in low......"


20 posted on 03/17/2006 4:31:32 PM PST by llevrok (Drink your beer damnit !! There are people in Africa sober.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: magellan
Someone over 50 you can trust.

Besides me?

21 posted on 03/17/2006 4:31:41 PM PST by null and void (Sept 11th: National Moderate Muslim Day of Tacit Approval)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magellan
The lesser known civilian version....


22 posted on 03/17/2006 4:38:35 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: operation clinton cleanup

First time I ever seen a pix of that one.
Also didnt even know they existed.

Tell me more.


23 posted on 03/17/2006 4:46:28 PM PST by 76834 (There's nothing wrong with sobriety in moderation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: operation clinton cleanup

Looks like a crap Photoshop job, but still interesting.


24 posted on 03/17/2006 4:46:33 PM PST by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: July 4th; 76834
Looks like a crap Photoshop job, but still interesting.Yes and Yes. I think the 707 and B-52 did have some common design features.
25 posted on 03/17/2006 5:05:26 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: magellan

26 posted on 03/17/2006 5:07:57 PM PST by dennisw (-Muslim's biggest enemy is the founder of Islam, Muhammad. Muslims are victims of this evil conman-)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: operation clinton cleanup
I think the 707 and B-52 did have some common design features.

Same wing sweep and the first 707's used the civilian equivalent of the J-57 turbojet.

27 posted on 03/17/2006 5:08:24 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (Real Leaders Base Their Decisions on Their Convictions. Wannabes Base Decisions on the Latest Poll.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: COEXERJ145

Here is a intresting but sad video Pilot error at a air show

http://www.militaryaircraft.de/video-1x39z/B-52_Crash.avi


28 posted on 03/17/2006 5:23:33 PM PST by al baby (Father of the Beeber)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: COEXERJ145
Same wing sweep and the first 707's used the civilian equivalent of the J-57 turbojet.

Thanks, thats interesting. I knew I heard Boeing used some aspects of the B-52 in the 707.

29 posted on 03/17/2006 5:35:13 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: al baby

. . .That's the Fairchild Crash. My former Squadron Commander, Col. Bob Wolfe, died in that one: he was in the Instructor Pilot seat. . .

. . .and it wasn't pilot ERROR. . .the pilot was a notorious hot dog. . . .and he finally tempted fate one time too many. . .


30 posted on 03/17/2006 5:42:13 PM PST by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border: I dare you to try and cross it. . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: magellan

"Negotiate. While you are negotiating, send in the B'52's"...Gen. Curtis LeMay on the Vietnam War.


31 posted on 03/17/2006 5:43:45 PM PST by Supernatural (When they come a wull staun ma groon, Staun ma groon al nae be afraid)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: llevrok
Hey! The urinal is right behind them, and they're facing forward...what more can they want? Try riding for three hours, low level in the heat of summer through the STRC (old days), facing backwards in the EW seat, and the downstairs seats start looking pretty fine.
32 posted on 03/17/2006 5:45:23 PM PST by RavenATB (Patton was right...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Salgak

Well I stand by my statement he screwed the pooch sorry for you loss


33 posted on 03/17/2006 5:51:42 PM PST by al baby (Father of the Beeber)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: RavenATB
The urinal is right behind them, and they're facing forward

damn officers get all the perks !

34 posted on 03/17/2006 5:59:42 PM PST by llevrok (Drink your beer damnit !! There are people in Africa sober.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: al baby

I wasn't able to play the video, but if that was the Fairchild AFB crash, "pilot error" is a generous expression.


35 posted on 03/17/2006 6:01:43 PM PST by RavenATB (Patton was right...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Clemenza

They are still active aren't they?


36 posted on 03/17/2006 6:03:53 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: magellan

Only problem with the JDAMs is that we don't get to see awesome footage of B-52/B-1/B-2 carpet bombings.


37 posted on 03/17/2006 6:15:05 PM PST by fso301
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fso301
Got a feeling we have seen the last military fighter/bombers we will ever see. Except on the ground. Something just flew over the house, right over the top, clear sky, sunlight. It was loud, but the only sound came from the exhaust that was cranked to the max. The sound was also highly variable, not like the usual 747s, etc that go over. The plane was fast, too, and when they cut back the thrust the sound of the exhaust was gone. No engine sound at all.

Oh, and invisible.

38 posted on 03/17/2006 6:19:29 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: JRios1968

Wait till you see a "BUFF" landing in full crosswind crab bucking a 40 knott crosswind; truly amazing sight to behold!


39 posted on 03/17/2006 6:29:21 PM PST by winker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: winker

Been there...done that. Nellis AFB is really good for seeing such sights!


40 posted on 03/17/2006 7:40:48 PM PST by JRios1968 (A DUmmie troll's motto: "Non cogito, ergo zot")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: magellan

No quite. The only ones still flying, H models, are at most 45.


41 posted on 03/17/2006 8:44:46 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: al baby
Ah, yes, the ill-fated "Thunderhawks" SACs answer to the Thunderbirds and the fighter mafia...IIRC.

I believe there were family members on the the -52 as well - now parents cannot ride the same AC for fear of making orphans..again, IIRC.
42 posted on 03/17/2006 9:15:10 PM PST by ASOC (Choosing between the lesser of two evils, in the end, still leaves you with - evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson