04:20 GMT +321 May 2019
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    A US Air Force B-52 bomber

    Ageing B-52s Called Back Into Action to Bomb Daesh

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    Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said that the US Air Force has resorted to its more than half-a-century-old B-52 bombers to pick up the bombing burden against Daesh.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Air Force has resorted to its more than half-a-century-old B-52 bombers to pick up the bombing burden against the Islamic State, or Daesh, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters.

    "The B-1s will be receiving much needed modernization and maintenance," James stated in a press conference on Monday. "The venerable B-52, with its similar capacity and accuracy and endurance, remains able and ready to meet combatant requirements."

    James admitted the US Air Force had been forced to call in its ageing B-52 bombers into the air campaign because of the wear and tear operations had taken on the more modern, stealth-capable B-1 Lancers.

    "This persistent effort against Daesh is taking its toll on our aircraft, our readiness and our airmen… We must also modernize, maintain [and] take care of our people," she argued.

    US Air Force General Herbert Carlisle, head of the Air Combat Command, first revealed the B-52s will be sent into the air campaign against the Islamic State at the Air Force Association’s annual Air Warfare Symposium on February 26.

    The B-52 can carry a 70,000 pound arsenal filled with gravity bombs, cluster bombs, precision-guided cruise missiles and other weapons. The aircraft first flew 64 years ago in 1952.


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