Report: US May Put B-52s on 24-Hour Nuclear Alert

Jets armed with nukes would be ready to go at a moment's notice, if order goes through
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2017 11:10 AM CDT
US May Return Nuclear Bombers to Cold War Status
In this 1965 file photo, a US Air Force B-52 bomber takes off from Guam.   (US Air Force via AP, File)

The security site Defense One reports that the Air Force is considering putting nuclear-armed bomber planes back on 24-hour notice, something that hasn't been in effect since the Cold War. The site emphasizes that no such order has yet been given, but it quotes Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein as saying the move is under consideration. "I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we're prepared going forward," he says. Specifically, the order would result in B-52s armed with nuclear weapons being parked at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, with crews in nearby hangars ready to go at a moment's notice.

A post at Hot Air adds a bit of caution about reading too much into the report. Just because it's being considered "doesn’t mean this will happen, and it's completely possible this is something they consider on a regular basis," writes Taylor Millard. After all, planning for all contingencies is what all militaries do, Millard notes. Still, at least one tangible sign of the potential move is in motion: The building where B-52 crews slept during the Cold War is being renovated, notes Defense One. (More Air Force stories.)

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