Testing B-52 Defensive Upgrade:

Members of the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Barksdale AFB, La., have tested the new Defensive Suite Software Upgrade for B-52s and found it significantly better than the bomber’s current software. Capt. Brian Heck, advanced project officer with the 49th TES, which is part of the 53rd Test Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., compared the improvement to changing from Windows operating system 3.1 to Windows XP. The DSSU advances jamming and self-protection capabilities, enabling B-52 crews to “make better and quicker tactical decisions,” according to Maj. Benjamin Kruggel, 49th TES assistant director of operations. Aiding the 49th TES with the more than 30 DSSU test runs was another 53rd Wing unit, the 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron, which Kruggel said designed and analyzed test results. Air Combat Command expects to begin fielding DSSU to operational units next month. (Barksdale report by Stephanie Bemrose)