The US Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.
“This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared.” The US Air Force chief of staff stated.
It is understood the decision has not yet been made, but the high command is preparing for the eventuality that the order will come. The decision itself would be made by Gen. John Hyten, commander of Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of Northern Command. STRATCOM is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces and NORTHCOM is tasked with defending North America.
President Donald Trump stated that Washington is “prepared for anything” when it comes to Kim Jong-un’s regime.
There are fears that a new war could break out as the hermit state tries to develop a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the US mainland.
Tensions between the US and North Korea have looked like reaching boiling point of late, as Kim Jong-un pushes on with his nuclear programme.
“The world is a dangerous place and we’ve got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons.” Goldfein added.
“It’s no longer a bipolar world where it’s just us and the Soviet Union. We’ve got other players out there who have nuclear capability. It’s never been more important to make sure that we get this mission right,”
Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, home of the 2d Bomb Wing and Air Force Global Strike Command, which manages the service’s nuclear services, is being renovated, so that B-52s would be ready to “take off at a moment’s notice.”
The B-52, which can fly up to about 50,000 feet and at subsonic speeds, has the ability to release a variety of weapons, including cluster bombs, gravity bombs and precision guided missiles.
The long-range bomber can also unleash both nuclear and precision-guided conventional ordnance.