U.S. reportedly putting nuclear bombers back on high alert

THE United States Air Force will put its aging fleet of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers on 24-hour alert for the first time since the end of the Cold War, according to its chief of staff.

According to Defense One, the U.S. bombers, armed with nuclear weapons, would be set to take off at a moment's notice once the order is in place.

Goldfein said that at least one of the four E-4B Nightwatch planes, also known as "Apocalypse", is always ready for 24 hours in the USA government's emergency air fleet.

Air Force Chief of Staff, General David Goldfein, said that U.S. military leaders are being forced to adapt to the global situation that the country now finds itself in.

Though the alert orders are yet to come, preparations are already underway.

"This is yet one more step in ensuring that we're prepared", he said during a tour of Air Force bases home to nuclear bombers. Having visited U.S. air bases to support the new B-52 mission, he urged troops to look for "new ways" to use nuclear weapons for both deterrence and combat. "We are not are actually doing this", an Air Force spokesman told Task & Purpose. Above, a B-52 bomber during 2013 military drills.

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"I've challenged... Air Force Global Strike Command to help lead the dialog, help with this discussion about 'What does conventional conflict look like with a nuclear element?' and 'Do we respond as a global force if that were to occur?' and 'What are the options?'" he said.

"It is very bad for any American presidency to have any other country that doesn't have any other clear and mutual understanding about nuclear weapons to be in a position, in principle to attack the United States", Dunn said, adding that now North Korea is probably capable of firing a nuclear device that could reach Guam.

Defense One reports that the 24-hour alert status has not been used since the conclusion of the Cold War in 1991.

"The world is a risky place and we've got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons", he said.

The Christmas tree at Barksdale will also be receiving two additional visitors soon, the E-4B Nightwatch and E-6B Mercury.

If a nuclear war is declared, both planes will serve as the flying command posts of the current defense secretary and STRATCOM commander, respectively. Or would we be ready for them?

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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