First B-52 Goes to Depot for Communications Upgrade

The first B-52 bomber scheduled to receive the Combat Network Communications Technology upgrade left Barksdale AFB, La., for Tinker AFB, Okla., home of the B-52 depot, according to Barksdale officials. The bomber departed Barksdale on July 16, states the base’s release. Air Force officials have said they expect that the installation of the new communications gear will take about nine months for each B-52 in depot. The CONECT upgrade is designed to enable B-52 crews to receive and send real-time digital information while the airplane is in flight. This includes updated intelligence, mapping, and targeting information. “We will arrive to the battlefield with all the information we need to prosecute targets,” said Maj. Maxwell Dipietro, director of operations for Barksdale’s 20th Bomb Squadron. Boeing is the prime contractor for CONECT. (Barksdale report by TSgt. Mike Andriacco)