The United States Air Force is on the brink of placing its fleet of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers on 24-hour’s notice for the first time in over 25 years as tensions between the US and North Korea continue to escalate on the Korean peninsula, reports Fox News.
Military insiders confirmed the move over the weekend, saying the 24-hour notice puts the US “one step closer” to emergency “preparedness” should an all-out war erupt between the US and the communist nation.
“This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” said Gen. David Goldfein. “I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”
“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,” he added.
The B-52 nuclear-capable bomber flies at supersonic speeds at an altitude of approximately 50,000 feet; nearly double the height of commercial passenger jets. The military plane can drop a variety of payloads, including gravity bombs, cluster bombs, guides missiles, and nuclear warheads.
The last time the fleet was on 24 hour’s notice was 1991, and ended shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union.