A 25-hour Day:

B-52 bomber crews deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, tested their endurance during five Koa Lightning missions this month that took them from Guam to Hawaii, where they coordinated simulated bomb drops with joint tactical air control teams on the ground. The Barksdale AFB, La., bomber crews use the Pacific region missions to not only practice strikes but also to gain experience in long-duration sorties. Coupling the sorties with four-hour pre- and post-flight briefings makes it a “25-hour day,” according to 1st Lt. Tim Vander Pyl, who added, “It was the longest I had ever done, and I was beat when it was over.” Generally, the bomber crews fly practice sorties lasting 10 to 12 hours, but Pyl said, “Our actual combat durations [for the war on terror] are usually 17 to 19 hours.” The Barksdale contingent serving on this latest Pacific region rotation made history earlier this month when the crews performed four simultaneous strikes on four separate targets. (Andersen report by A1C Erica Stewart)