It’s Official

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz on March 9 formally approved the plan that makes Air Force Reserve Command’s 93rd Bomb Squadron at Barksdale AFB, La., the B-52H formal training unit. Plans call for the FTU to achieve initial operational capability no later than Sept. 1 and to be fully operational capable by Dec. 1. “From the Reserve perspective, this is an outstanding opportunity to enhance our involvement in the B-52 mission and further support the Air Force’s top priority,” the nuclear mission, said Lt. Col. Jeff Swanson, B-52 program element monitor at AFRC headquarters. As we reported in our earlier coverage, the 93rd BS, a component of AFRC’s 917th Wing, will convert from a combat-coded unit to the training schoolhouse, taking over B-52 training from Barksdale’s active duty 11th BS, which is a part of the 2nd Bomb Wing. As part of these changes, the 93rd BS B-52 complement will double from eight to 16, and 400 airmen from the 2nd BW will be reassigned to support the FTU under an active-associate arrangement. Meanwhile, four Reserve aircrews from the 93rd BS will form a classic association with the 2nd BW and will maintain their combat proficiency. (Includes Barksdale report)