Airmen and local leaders gathered at Andersen AFB, Guam, in mid-December to commemorate Linebacker II, the intense 11-day bombing campaign of North Vietnam in December 1972 credited with bringing the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table and leading to the end of direct US involvement in the Vietnam War. More than 150 B-52s operated from Andersen during the campaign. The Dec. 18 ceremony included a wreath laying at the base’s Arc Light Memorial Park to honor the B-52 crew members who died during the campaign as well as a flyby of two B-52s. (Photo caption by A1C Julian North) (See also Pacific New Center’s report) (For more on the historic bombing campaign, read Linebacker II from the archives of Air Force Magazine.)
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.