Buffing Up:

Gen John Corley, commander of Air Combat Command, said March 27 he favors increasing the number of B-52s that USAF maintains in the same configuration for combat and training from 56 to 76. Speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C., Corley said the impetus for the move, which would give USAF 44 combat-coded B-52s vice the 32 that it now has, is the desire to be able to assign B-52 units solely the nuclear mission for extended periods of training and combat availability. Having more B-52s would provide more flexibility to do that as well as enable the Air Force still to have enough B-52s available to combatant commanders for conventional missions, he said. “By putting ourselves into this rotation, I think it gets us properly postured,” he said. “You can envision an environment where someone moves into a spin up, solely focused on the nuclear enterprise for a period of two months and they go into the normal AEF rotation of about four months where they are focused exclusively on only one thing: nuclear. And then they come off of that and rotate back into their conventional role.” This idea comes in the aftermath of the errant transfer of nuclear weapons last August aboard a B-52. (For more read Convergence)