Minot BUFFs at Guam

Six B-52H bombers and nearly 350 airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, N.D., began arriving Thursday at Andersen AFB, Guam. They are deploying to the Pacific air hub for six-months as part of a normal rotation of US combat forces in the Pacific theater. These airmen and machines began departing Minot on June 1. The 5th BW’s two squadrons, the 23rd Bomb Squadron and 69th BS, will share in this deployment, with the former covering the first half, according to Minot officials. Col. Charles Patnaude, commander of Minot’s 5th Operations Group, said Andersen’s location affords his crews “fantastic” training opportunities. The Minot B-52s are replacing a contingent of B-2A bombers and airmen from Whiteman AFB, Mo. Since March 2004, the US has maintained a continual bomber presence on Guam to promote regional stability. (Pacific News Center report) (Minot report by SrA. Benjamin Stratton)