Trick is to Revamp Strike Missions

Defense officials are telling Congress that there will be some risk associated with the Air Force plan to retire more than a third of its B-52 bombers, but that the service can offset the risk by altering the conduct of strike missions, according to UPI news service. Many lawmakers believe USAF’s intent to retire 38 BUFFs under the Fiscal 2007 defense budget targets the service’s least expensive bomber to maintain and one that could perform for another 30 years. House authorizers would prohibit wholesale B-52 retirement until the service fields a suitable replacement. Senate appropriators want an independent study to evaluate a perceived bomber gap.