If the bombers were to be put on 24-hour alert, it would be the first time since the Cold War
A report that nuclear-capable B-52 bombers are being put on 24-hour alert again since the the Cold War has been refuted by the U.S. Air Force (USAF).
The report quoted a senior Air Force official as saying the preparations were already underway.
In the report by security news website Defense One, Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force’s chief of staff, said U.S. military leaders are reacting to new threat levels.
“The world is a dangerous place and we’ve got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons,” he said, according to the report. Moreover Goldfein added that even if no official order had been given to put nuclear bombers on alert, preparations were underway.
“This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” he said during a tour of Air Force bases home to nuclear bombers, according to Defense One. “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.”
But on Oct. 23, 2017 Laura M. McAndrews, a spokeswoman for the USAF, told to CNBC news that the report is untrue.
Instead, infrastructure upgrades are being carried out at Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB), home to the 2nd Bomb Wing (BW) and Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), to ensure a high-level of readiness.
Beds are being installed for more than 100 crew members that would operate as many as nine bombers positioned on the runway. Defense One also reported that Barksdale and other bases with nuclear bombers are preparing storage facilities to house a new model of nuclear cruise missile.
McAndrews said that updates to base infrastructure “are necessary to maintain a baseline level of readiness.”
“We do this routinely as part of our organize, train and equip mission so our forces are ready to respond when called upon,” she said.
Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Benjamin Cooper and Staff Sgt. Sean Martin / U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com