B-52 bombers return to Fairchild Air Force Base

FAIRCHILD AFB, Wash. — On Tuesday, four B-52 bombers arrived at the Fairchild Airforce Base from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, ahead of a three day training exercise. It’s the first time the historic long-range bomber has been on the base since 2010.

“It’s been some years since we’ve brought them here,” said Anthony Williams Jr., a production superintendent for the 2nd AMXS. “It’s a big deal when we can put airplanes in places to do strategic planning and to be self sustaining.”

The purpose of these exercises is to improve U.S. Air Force-wide airpower survivability and resilience. Airmen will be tested on their agility and adaptability as they utilize new tools on their bombers.

“Having multi-capable airmen is not doing more with less, it’s doing more with what we have,” explained Williams Jr. “If I have one airman that can do one thing and another airman that can do another thing, versus having two airmen that can do all the same things; it makes us more capable of getting things done.”

The Air Force has a vision to modernize the B-52, hoping to re-engine the aircrafts to be 30 percent more fuel efficient in the coming years.

“The game plan is to use these airplanes until 2050,” Williams Jr. said.

Along with new engines, the modernization plan is also incorporating new weapons systems.

“We’re keeping up with technologies, we’re doing things that we’re modifying,” said Williams Jr.

The B-52 aircrafts are in town until August 19, when they’re expected to return to Barksdale.