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RAF Fairford gets "BUFF"

Released: March 5, 2003

By Staff Sgt. Kristina Barrett
457th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs

ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, England (USAFENS) -- More than a dozen B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft arrived here March 3-4 from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to support the war on terrorism and possible future contingency operations.

In addition, almost 300 airmen have deployed here in support of the aircraft, with more than 600 more scheduled to arrive 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. "It takes a total team effort to complete the mission, and I have full faith in their ability to go above and beyond and carry out any mission they may be called upon to perform."

The base was selected to receive the aircraft because of the runway length and the ability to be activated at short notice at any given time. RAF Fairford is still used as an alternate emergency landing site for the space shuttle. The base's mission is to support U.S. and NATO bomber and contingency operations in the North European region, and is one of four bomber forward operating locations.

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 of altitudes up to 50,000 feet.

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