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Nuclear Bombers Alert? No Immediate Plans, Air Force Says

Nuclear Bombers Alert? No Immediate Plans, Air Force Says

U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress aircraft from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 9, 2016. (Staff Sgt. Corey Hook/U.S. Air Force via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 October 2017 09:28 AM

A 24-hour nuclear bomber alert is not in the immediate plans by the Air Force, officials said, despite a report that the military was on the verge of making the move for the first time since the end of the Cold War, CNBC reported Monday.

Air Force Gen. David Goldfein, the branch's chief of staff, reportedly told the security news website Defense One that while the order had not been given, preparations are underway to respond to it.

"This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared," Goldfein told Defense One in an interview at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. "I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward."

Barksdale, where the 2nd Bomb Wing and Air Force Global Strike Command, is located, would be one of the bases supporting such an alert, wrote Defense One. The base oversees U.S. nuclear forces, CNBC noted.

Air Force spokeswoman Laura M. McAndrews told CNBC, though, that there were no plans or preparations to put the bombers back on 24-hour alert. She said infrastructure improvements at Barksdale were "necessary to maintain a baseline level of readiness."

"We do this routinely as part of our organize, train, and equip mission so our forces are ready to respond when called upon," McAndrews added, per CNBC.

According to the network, beds are being installed for more than 100 crew members that would operate as many as nine bombers positioned on the runway. Defense One said the base is preparing to add storage facilities for a new nuclear cruise missile that is under development.

"The world is a dangerous place and we've got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons," Goldfein told Defense One. "It's no longer a bipolar world where it's just us and the Soviet Union. We've got other players out there who have nuclear capability. It's never been more important to make sure that we get this mission right."

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A 24-hour nuclear bomber alert is not in the immediate plans by the Air Force, officials said, despite a report that the military was on the verge of making the move for the first time since the end of the Cold War, CNBC reported Monday.
nuclear, bombers, alert, air force
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2017-28-24
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 09:28 AM
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