(Military.com) The Cold War-era B-52 Stratofortress bomber has arrived in the Middle East to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State, the U.S. Air Force announced.
The long-range heavy bomber aircraft flew from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and arrived Saturday at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, according to a press release from Lt. Col. Chris Karns, a spokesman for U.S. Air Forces Central Command.
The stationing of the B-52 in the Middle East marks the first time the service has based the aircraft in the region in a quarter century — since Operation Desert Storm against Iraq in the early 1990s, the release states. The Stratofortress last flew operational missions during Operational Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan 2006, it states.
The deployment comes three months after the service pulled the B-1B Lancer bombers from the region for upgrades and repairs.
“The B-52 demonstrates our continued resolve to apply persistent pressure on Da’esh and defend the region in any future contingency,” Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, head of the command and the combined forces air component, said in the release, referring to another name for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
With a top speed of around 650 miles per hour, range of about 8,800 miles and capacity to hold roughly 70,000 pounds of nuclear and conventional bombs, mines and missiles, the aircraft is capable of carrying out a variety of missions, including strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction and maritime operations.
I can’t wait until those ISIS thugs feel the HEAT from 70,000 pounds of explosive ordinance, while their hopes and dreams of becoming suicide bombers fade into blackness.