Last B-52G Falls to New START
The last B-52G marked for destruction under New
START is slated for execution today at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. While the Air Force currently operates the
B-52H, retired B-52Gs stored at the boneyard still counted against the deployed
nuclear delivery platforms allowed
under treaty limits. "With the elimination of [serial number]
58-0224, 39 B-52Gs will have been eliminated as part of U.S. reductions in
order to meet the treaty’s central limits by Feb. 5, 2018," according to a
309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group release. The aircraft was initially delivered to the Air
Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, Calif., from Boeing's plant in Wichita,
Kan., in January 1960. The bomber spent much of its career at Loring AFB,
Maine, and flew strike missions from Guam during operations Arc Light and Linebacker
II over Vietnam, according to USAF's Historical
Research Center. A total of 97 B-52Gs "surgically cut" under both the
START and New START agreements remain in storage at Davis-Monthan, 309th AMARG
spokeswoman Teresa Pittman told the Daily
Report. An additional 13 newer B-52Hs also are kept in storage intact, she
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.