Minot BUFFs Rotate to Guam
More than 200 airmen and six B-52 bombers
assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing of Minot AFB, N.D., deployed to Andersen AFB,
Guam, for a six-month rotation as part of the Air Force's continuous bomber presence
at the Pacific air hub, announced Andersen and Minot officials. The Minot
bomber crews and support personnel, who will constitute the 23rd Expeditionary
Bomb Squadron during their stay, replaced a contingent of airmen and B-52s from
the 96th BS at Barksdale AFB, La., that began
its rotation at Andersen in October, according to Minot's April 4 release. They left
Minot on March 29, states the release. The United States maintains the bomber
presence at Guam to dissuade aggression in the region and assure allies of the
US extended deterrent that protects them. The bombers crews have the
opportunity to exercise mission profiles that they do not normally get the
chance to fly at home station. The Barksdale B-52s participated
in joint exercises with the South Korean armed forces during their time on the island. (See also Andersen release.)
In More Depth
|Gates Versus the Air Force
In his book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes the Air Force as “one of my biggest headaches”—a perception USAF leaders were never able to turn around during his tenure.
A Systemic Problem
Air Force Secretary Deborah James acknowledged the Air Force does “have a systemic problem” within its nuclear forces, though she said she is confident the mission itself remains strong.
The A-12, Settled At Last
After a 23-year seesaw legal battle in which both sides were at some point “up” by more than a billion dollars, the Navy and its A-12 contractors have put the A-12 controversy to rest with a settlement.