Red-Eye Readiness

A lone 5th Bomb Wing B-52 Stratofortress launched on a 24-hour training sortie, striking simulated targets in France and Germany from its home station at Minot AFB, N.D., announced Minot officials. Refueling four times en-route, the B-52 dropped simulated joint direct attack munitions and unguided munitions as part of a multinational exercise in France, and worked with NATO joint tactical air controllers over Germany, during the late May mission, stated the officials in Minot’s June 12 release. “Flying a long-endurance sortie is outstanding training for aircrew, since it forces them to train in a very real combat-like environment after flying for a long time to get to the area of responsibility,” said Capt. Jarred Prier, 5th Operations Support Squadron mission commander. “Crews often fly long-endurance sorties on our Guam deployments, but this particular mission was a rare opportunity,” he added. The crew linked up with a French air force KC-135FR for fuel, and scrimmaged with French fighters along the way, according to the release. (Minot report by SrA. Jessica McConnell)