The final B-52 bomber delivered to the Air Force—the youngest B-52H—last week reached 50 years of operational service, announced manufacturer Boeing. This airframe, serial number 61-040, is assigned to Minot AFB, N.D., where it flies with the combat-coded 5th Bomb Wing, according to the company’s release on Oct. 26. It was on that same day back in 1962 that Boeing delivered this airplane to the Air Force from the company’s production plant in Wichita, Kan. Between 1952 and 1962, Boeing built 744 B-52s in eight different models, states the release. Today, the Air Force’s B-52 fleet comprises 76 H-model aircraft, including two used as test aircraft at Edwards AFB, Calif. Barksdale AFB, La., hosts the service’s second combat-coded B-52 unit, the 2nd BW, as well as Air Force Reserve Command’s 307th BW that runs the B-52 schoolhouse. The Air Force intends to keep B-52s in service out to around 2040.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”