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  • Writer's pictureDavid Connolly

Inside the Nuclear Triad (Part Two): B-52s

Coffee or Die Magazine’s Nolan Peterson flew on board a US Air Force B-52H bomber and learned how this Cold War-era aircraft remains at the leading edge of America’s efforts to deter nuclear-armed adversaries.

First flown in the 1950s, the B-52 was originally designed to wage nuclear war against the Soviet Union. Although 24/7 alert status for America’s fleet of strategic bombers ended in 1968, B-52 aircrews have played a key role in conventional conflicts ranging from Vietnam to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even so, recent global events, such as the war in Ukraine, have added urgency to the never-ending nuclear deterrence mission. The existential threats to our nation, which the B-52 was originally designed to confront, are back at the forefront of US defense priorities.

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