Three B-52H Stratofortress' took off for a training mission from
Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 23, 2015.
The mission took
place to ensure the 5th Bomb Wing remains fully capable of providing
a full, simultaneous spectrum of devastating global strike options
to combatant commanders anywhere, anytime, said Capt. Margaret
Ingerslew, 69th Bomb Squadron assistant director of operations.
Capt. Cory Halvorson
(left), 69th Bomb Squadron pilot, prepares to leave for a bombing mission at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 23, 2015. The mission involved the dropping of ordinance
(right) on predetermined practice targets. One pass included six weapons on four different targets; another pass included four weapons on four different targets. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photos by Senior Airman Stephanie Morris)
Ingerslew explained, the 69th BS is tasked with both
conventional and nuclear mission sets, and maintains the
capability to perform both mission sets simultaneously.
“Specifically for the conventional mission, we have a
wide arsenal of weapon types that we're capable of
employing,” Ingerslew said. “This group of sorties is the
perfect example of making sure we're able to successfully
employ multiple weapon types on multiple targets with
minimal time and exposure to threats.
One pass the
aircraft made included six weapons on four different
targets, another pass included four weapons on four
“The ability to respond to
multiple contingencies at once, worldwide, with a broad set
of capabilities to bring to a given scenario, is the reason
Minot succeeds in its deterrence mission,” Ingerslew said.
This mission was not the first of its kind, Ingerslew
stated. However, the base is only allotted a small amount of
these precision guided munitions.
“We train to all
of these various tactics and weapon types every day, but to
employ them with actual weapons, instead of using the
simulated mode of our aircraft offensive avionics system, is
a way for crews to get more realistic training,” said
For Ingerslew the most satisfying part of
missions like this is verifying that the weapons system
continues to function as advertised or better, and enabling
B-52 crewmembers to foster greater confidence in their own
Maintenance Airmen who loaded the
munitions onto the aircraft and maintained them before
loading echoed her sentiments.
“Every time we load a
jet the world sees that we will not back down, and I get to
play a direct role in that show of force,” said Staff Sgt.
Mark Kelly, 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load
crew team chief. “When munitions release from the aircraft,
it is a testament to the hard work and many hours spent to
ensure we win wars.”
Members of the 69th BS prepared
for the mission by conducting detailed mission planning,
intensive study of the various weapons, employment
procedures, standards and aircraft systems, as well as
regulations governing the use of bombing and gunnery ranges.
“Mission planning and coordination started a month and a
half prior to mission execution,” said Capt. Michael Hansen,
5th Operations Support Squadron flight commander. “This is
the proof and truth data of Minot's deterrence.”
By U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Stephanie Morris
Comment on this article