ENDURING FREEDOM (AFPN) -- America's war on
terrorism has been an unusual
conflict. The enemy is not an army of
soldiers, but a confederation
of zealots from several countries. Even
the high-tech bombs differ
from those dropped during previous conflicts.
But at least one thing remains the same:
men and women on the ground
are needed to keep planes flying. That
is especially true of the
deployed B-52 Stratofortress aircraft
maintainers from Air Force Reserve
Command's 93rd Bomb Squadron at Barksdale Air
Force Base, La., who continue
to support the war.
"When I was first deployed (to a forward
operating location) last September,
I had only 30 minutes to pack," said Master
Sgt. Dennis, the 93rd BS production
supervisor. (Last names of deployed
reservists are withheld for security
reason.) "This time I had four months to
prepare myself and my family
for my absence."
In September, the 93rd BS, the only B-52 unit
in AFRC, received a war-tasking
order and within days deployed reservists and
aircraft to a forward-operating
area in support of the war on terrorism.
During this deployment,
they integrated with active-duty people to
form an aerospace expeditionary
After a brief visit home, members of the 93rd
BS redeployed in May to continue
their patrol of the skies over Afghanistan,
awaiting the call on where
and when to drop their bombs.
"I wish I'd been here during the first
rotation when they were dropping
more bombs, but people keep telling me to be
careful what you wish for,"
said Master Sgt. Eddie, a 93rd BS weapons
So far the B-52 crews have dropped more than
14 million pounds of munitions,
most of it during the first three months of
the war on terrorism.
From September to January, 93rd BS crews flew
88 combat missions, dropping
1,000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions; 1,600
general-purpose bombs; and 800
"We were definitely a lot busier the last time
I was here, but we still
have a job to do," said Tech. Sgt Bob, a 93rd
BS crew chief. "Right
now, boredom seems to be our biggest enemy,
but we keep our minds focused
on the mission." (Courtesy of AFRC News