New B-52 Squadron Coming to MAFB

November 21st, 2008  

Topic: New B-52 Squadron Coming to MAFB

New B-52 Squadron Coming to MAFB Nick Dreyer 11/20/2008Plans to create a new B-52 squadron at Minot Air Force Base were made official by the Pentagon late yesterday and North Dakota’s congressional delegation was notified personally in a meeting with the top two leaders of the Air Force. Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan and Congressman Earl Pomeroy broke the news of the Air Force’s intentions earlier this year saying that as many as 1,090 additional personnel will be added to the base.

“Our efforts to preserve Minot’s bomber force have really paid off. And while we knew this news was coming, this official announcement is still a sweet victory for the men and women of Minot Air Force Base. "They are the best of the best,” the delegation said in a joint statement. “Another bridge has been crossed, another hurdle has been overcome, and once again, Minot Air Force Base has come out on top.”

The Air Force announced that it plans to add an additional squadron at Minot as part of plans to put a stronger emphasis on nuclear mission training for B-52 units. The number of combat-ready aircraft at Minot will increase from 12 to 22. Hundreds of additional personnel will be authorized for Minot Air Force Base.

The official announcement also marks the culmination of a long fight by the Congressional delegation to convince the Pentagon not to slash America’s bomber force from 76 to 56 aircraft. Earlier this year, Air Force Gen. John Corley, the head of Air Combat Command, agreed with the delegation’s position. Gen. Corley reversed the Pentagon’s intentions and stated unequivocally that the military has a vital need for a B-52 fleet of at least 76 bombers. In April, the Air Force confirmed to the Congressional delegation its plans to bring the additional squadron and airmen to Minot. The reorganization will increase the total number of operational squadrons in our nation’s B-52 fleet to four.

The delegation noted that the additional mission in Minot will have a big impact on the entire Minot community. The new squadron is projected to inject as much as $75 million a year into Minot’s economy.

“Our bomber fleet is a vital national asset. It has played a critical role in military missions around the world. We are thrilled that our efforts to convince the Air Force to maintain our B-52 fleet are paying off and look forward to welcoming the members of this new squadron to Minot,” the delegation said in a joint statement.


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