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Fri, Mar 07, 2003

Brits Get 'Buffed' Up

More than a dozen B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft arrived at RAF Fairford March 3 and 4 from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to support the war on terrorism and possible contingency operations.

The Stratofortress, affectionately called the "Buff" by the bomber community, is a long-range and large capacity bomber and is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes up to 50,000 feet.

Almost 300 airmen have deployed here to support the aircraft, with more than 600 arriving in the coming weeks.

"The maintenance crews and support personnel assembled here are vital parts of the team that make the mission successful," said Col. Daniel Charchian, 457th Air Expeditionary Group commander.

The base was selected to receive the aircraft because of its runway length and ability to be activated on short notice. The base's mission is to support U.S. and NATO bomber and contingency operations in the northern European region, and is one of four bomber forward-operating locations. [ANN Thanks Staff Sgt. Kristina Barrett, 457th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs]

FMI: www.af.mil, www.af.mil/news/factsheets/B_52_Stratofortress.html

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