US Air Force prepares bombers to go on 24-hour alert

US Air Force renovates key military base, prepares bombers to take off 'at a moment's notice.'

Chana Roberts,

B-52 bombers
B-52 bombers

The US Air Force is preparing to place its nuclear-armed B-52 bombers on a 24-hour alert, loading them with nuclear weapons and placing them on standby.

Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein said the alert had not yet sounded, but the preparations were important to ensure the US army "gets this mission right."

According to Defense One, Louisiana's Barksdale Air Force Base is currently undergoing renovations so that the B-52s will be ready to take off "at a moment's notice." These renovations include beds for over 100 crew members, a recreation room, and the addition of various paintings. New storage facilities are also planned.

The US has not been on a 24-hour alert since the Cold War.

"This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared," he told Defense One. "I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward."

"The world is a dangerous place and we’ve got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons.... It’s never been more important to make sure that we get this mission right."

On Sunday, US President Donald Trump said the US is "totally prepared" to respond to threats from North Korea.

Two weeks ago, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho threatened the United States with “a hail of fire” and said Trump has "lit the wick of war" with his country.

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