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Minot's B-52 bombers heading to fight ISIS

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE - For the first time in 12 years, B-52 bombers from Minot Air Force Base will deploy to the Middle East for combat operations.Members of the 23rd Bomb Squadron "Barons" and other support people across the base will be leaving...

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Minot Air Force Base B-52 bombers, like this one, will be deploying to the Middle East soon. Eloise Ogden / Minot Daily News

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – For the first time in 12 years, B-52 bombers from Minot Air Force Base will deploy to the Middle East for combat operations.
Members of the 23rd Bomb Squadron "Barons" and other support people across the base will be leaving shortly for a deployment to the Middle East. An advance group is already there setting up for the combat operations.
The bomb squadron members have been going through extensive training to prepare for the deployment, base officials said.
Last spring, the Air Force announced it was sending B-52 Stratofortresses into the fight against ISIS. Bombers from Barksdale AFB, La., were the first ones sent, according to Air Force information.
The B-52 is a long-range, heavy bomber capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes up to 50,000 feet. Updated with modern technology, it can perform a variety of missions and is capable of dropping or launching the widest array of weapons in the U.S. inventory. 
The 23rd Bomb Squadron is one of two bomb squadrons at Minot AFB. The other bomb squadron is the 69th Bomb Squadron. Both are units of the 5th Bomb Wing. The bomb wing recently received the prestigious Omaha Trophy from U.S. Strategic Command for top bomber wing.
Minot AFB bombers are replacing Barksdale AFB bombers in the Middle East.
"The B-52s are heavily engaged in bringing the fight to the enemy," Col. David Ballew, vice commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, told members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce at a meeting in Minot last week.

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