The 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota recently carried out Prairie Vigilance 16-1 by flying 12 B-52 bombers at once in an effort to demonstrate that the squadron could project conventional, or even nuclear, force “anywhere, anytime.”
The B-52, first flown in the 1950s, is the Air Force’s biggest and oldest bomber, but it is still a force to be reckoned with.
“Approximately 3,500 Airmen from across the wing demonstrated safe, secure, reliable nuclear-capable weapons standards and procedures,” a US Air Force statement said.
By now, the Air Force is expertly practiced at deploying the B-52 anywhere in the world in even a moment’s notice. In fact, the branch tricked the participating airmen and had them fly a week early without a hitch.
“Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing were tasked to demonstrate our nuclear [capable] tasking without prior notification or coordination,” Col. Douglas Warnock, 5th Operations Group commander, said. “The exercise was originally scheduled for next week, but by starting a week early, it gave our Airmen the opportunity to clearly exhibit their abilities and nuclear prowess.”
See how these senior aircraft still scramble at a moment’s notice in the video below: