Quick action last week by airmen at Barksdale AFB, La., extinguished a fire that broke out on a returning B-52 bomber and, in the process, protected the lives of the aircrew, according to a base release. The B-52 was taxiing to its parking spot after landing on Aug. 27, when maintainers noticed smoke, states Barksdale’s Aug. 29 release. As the bomber was coming to a rest, its No. 3 brake caught on fire. SSgt. Mark Corral and A1C Elias Delarosa, both of the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, sprang into action, grabbing the fire bottle to battle the flames. Meanwhile, SSgt. Billy Cambell of the squadron, gave the aircrew the emergency signals to shut down the engines and exit the aircraft. MSgt. Kevin Rowe, 96th Aircraft Maintenance Unit production superintendent, and SSgt. Brad Davis of the 2nd AMXS helped evacuate the aircrew. “These things can get out of control very quickly and this emergency could have easily caused more extensive damage and possibly funerals,” said Col. Andrew Gebara, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, in thanking these airmen for their actions and courage. (Barksdale report by SSgt. Amber Corcoran)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.