Defense

May 14, 2012

Global Strike Command leader previews B-52 upgrades

Tags:
Air Force photographs by Jet Fabara

Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski operates the combat network communications technology program on board a B-52H Stratofortress test bomber May 2, 2012, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The communications program is designed to bring the B-52H from the analog to the digital age, enabling it to effectively communicate, integrate and network within the joint force environment. Kowalski is the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command.

During a recent visit to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command spent time with B-52 Stratofortress combined test force officials to preview the combat capability enhancements made to the B-52H.

Modernizing and sustaining the nation’s long-range strike aviation capability is a top priority for the command, Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, said.

Kowalski also emphasized that this is the “Year of the B-52,” marking both the 50th anniversary of the last delivery of a B-52H to Minot Air Force base, N.D., and the 60th anniversary of the first test flight of the YB-52 prototype.

He attributed the reliability and combat capability of the dual-role bomber to talented maintenance personnel, outstanding depot support and the Air Force’s continued investment in the airframe.

The B-52H is a dual-capable aircraft designed to carry a variety of weapons in support of a range of military operations. It has been projected for a number of upgrades, which have already been made to the two B-52H test aircraft at Edwards AFB.

These upgrades are integral to ensuring the B-52H is both effective and able to fully integrate with other services as envisioned in the Air-Sea Battle concept, according to command officials.

Among the upgrades is a guided “smart weapon” capability in the B-52H’s internal weapons bay that provides a 66 percent increase in guided weapons payloads. Another current program is an upgrade to the latest advanced targeting pod, which will increase the B-52H effectiveness when performing close air support and other missions.

Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski discusses upgrades made to a B-52H Stratofortress test aircraft with Maj. Jonathan Beich and Mr. John Kirk on May 2, 2012, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Kowalski is the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command; Beich and Kirk are B-52H test radar navigators.

One of the test aircraft at Edwards AFB also featured an improved on-board communications upgrade called combat network communications technology. The CONECT program brings the B-52H from the analog into the digital age, command officials said, providing an invaluable data link, over which to pass mission and threat data.

The new defense strategy places a greater emphasis on the Pacific, Kowalski said, making it important that U.S. bombers are fully networked and integrated with the joint force.

The AFGSC provides a fleet of B-52Hs and a cadre of Airmen from Minot AFB, and Barksdale AFB year-round in support of the continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific, which ensures stability and peace in the region.

“Long-range, payload, persistence … these three attributes underlie key capabilities provided by Global Strike Command’s B-2 Spirit and B-52H fleet,” said Col. Rick Mitchell, the command’s bomber requirements division chief. “These attributes become increasingly important to combat the ‘tyranny of distance’ posed by the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

These digital enhancements will ensure the viability of the B-52H well into the 21st century, Mitchell said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India¬†– French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year¬†– In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>