As we previously reported, U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers, better known as the BUFF, have arrived in-theater to support the ongoing airstrikes against Daesh as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. As reported today by DoD Spokesman Colonel Steve Warren, the B-52 has conducted its first live drops against enemy positions.
Only in the Middle East for a few weeks, U.S. Air Force B-52s [the mighty BUFF!] called to the fight against the Islamic State group have received glowing praise from officials who yearned for their precision-guided bombs. And they’re delivering.
“[The International Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve] welcomes @usairforce B-52 contributions in the war against #ISIL – 1st B-52 strike was near #Quyarrah, [Iraq],” OIR spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren posted on Twitter April 21, along with the video of the multi-role bomber’s strike three days earlier.
The video shows the target to be an ISIS weapons storage facility, destroyed a few seconds later.
Several B-52s arrived at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, on April 9 to join the American-led campaign.
Their deployment marks the first time the Air Force is using the Cold War-era warplanes — from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana — in the counter-ISIS fight in Iraq and Syria. The service did not disclose the exact number of bombers it deployed.
“The B-52 will provide the coalition continued precision and deliver desired airpower effects,” Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command and Combined Forces Air Component, said in a release.
In March, Air Force officials hinted that the aircraft, affectionately known as the “Big Ugly Fat Fellows,” would replace the B-1 Lancers, which returned in January.
Despite being in the Air Force inventory for more than 50 years, BUFFs can drop precision-guided weapons. The aircraft’s payload capacity of 70,000 pounds can include gravity bombs, cluster bombs, precision-guided (cruise) missiles and Joint Direct Attack Munitions.
The original article at the Air Force Times can be seen in its entirety right here.
(Featured Photo by Scott Wolff)