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Operation Secret Squirrel Changed The Way We Utilized Airpower In Warfare

-In a conventional conflict, the B-52 can perform air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations. During Desert Storm, B-52s delivered 40 percent of all the weapons dropped by coalition forces. It is highly effective when used for ocean surveillance, and can assist the U.S. Navy in anti-ship and mine-laying operations. Two B-52s, in two hours, can monitor 140,000 square miles (364,000 square kilometers) of ocean surface. All B-52s are equipped with an electro-optical viewing system that uses platinum silicide forward-looking infrared and high resolution low-light-level television sensors to augment the targeting, battle assessment, flight safety and terrain-avoidance system, thus further improving its combat ability and low-level flight capability. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Excellent video telling the story of “Operation Secret Squirrel” (as the crews called it) that started the Gulf War this day in history 26 years ago.

When you need an airplane to blow open the door to a country, there’s no better than the mighty Buff! On January 16, 1991, seven B-52s of the 2nd Bomb Wing took off from Barksdale AFB, LA on a nonstop mission to Iraq. Their objective: to blind Iraq by knocking out critical command and power nodes with GPS guided cruise missiles. In the end, their mission successfully limited Iraq’s capability to respond to the additional waves of Coalition aircraft that came. Additionally, they set a record for the longest combat mission in history at 14,000 nautical miles traveled (a record held until B-2s and B-52s launched in the wake of 9/11 to attack Afghanistan). Secret Squirrel also marked the first use of GPS guided munitions in combat.

Here’s to those crews 26 years ago today leading the way! To learn more check out the full story on the Barkesdale website:

http://www.barksdale.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/2668/Article/641881/desert-storm-2nd-bomb-wing-leads-the-air-war.aspx

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Alexander Sakovich is a dedicated Avgeek who grew up spending every possible moment he could at DFW Airport in TX. From working as an airport volunteer to gate and ticket agent and now an Air Force pilot, he's seen all sides of the industry.

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