The 11th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La., is “home” to all B-52 aircrew—pilots, navigators, and electronic warfare officers. The squadron runs BUFF initial and upgrade training, and, in 2005, the unit processed 315 B-52 students—180 were brand new to the oldest bomber in the service. (Read our story on the 50-plus-year-old workhorse here.) According to Lt. Col. Parker Northrop, 11th BS commander, the training program has been revamped some. It now includes joint warfighting, using the virtual Buff to learn advance tactics and add multiple airframes, sometimes getting to experience Red Flag and Air Warrior II exercises.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.