'Strato' school: 93rd Bomb Squadron approved as formal B-52 training unit.[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
When the 917th Wing's 93rd Bomb Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base Barksdale Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base across the Red River from Shreveport. Louisiana and near Bossier City, Louisiana, that was established in 1933. , La., acquired its first eight B-52s on Dec. 7, 1993, they were configured to support a nuclear mission. However, the aircraft were never needed for that role--that is, until now.
The 917th has been tasked to join its regular Air Force partner at Barksdale in the nuclear mission under a Total Force Integration initiative between Air Combat Command and Air Force Reserve Command. TFI TFI Tobacco Free Initiative (World Health Organization)
TFI The Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
TFI The Fertilizer Institute
TFI Technology Futures, Inc. is a means to increase the Air Force's capabilities by having members of the regular and reserve components work together.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF, is Commander, United States Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
General Schwartz attended the United States Air Force Academy and graduated in 1973. formally approved the TFI initiative March 9. Under the initiative, the 93rd BS, which is currently a combat-coded unit, will transition to a B-52 formal training unit or schoolhouse, said Col. Edmund Walker, 917th WG commander.
Colonel Walker said the squadron's aircraft complement is expected to grow from eight to 16 by this summer, with the new assets transferring over from Barksdale's regular Air Force 2nd Bomb Wing.
As part of the initiative, the 2nd BW's 11th BS, which currently serves as a B-52 FTU FTU Foreign Trade University (Hanoi, Vietnam)
FTU Federation of Trade Unions (Hong Kong, China)
FTU Formal Training Unit
FTU Florida Times-Union (newspaper) , will become an active associate to the 93rd. It will no longer operate its own aircraft. On the maintenance side, Colonel Walker said, Airmen of the 2nd BW will work with the Reserve wing's maintenance group to keep the training aircraft flying. All in all, the Air Force will reassign 400 Airmen from the 2nd BW to the active associate unit.
When the transition to an FTU is complete, the 93rd BS, along with its 11th BS partners, will be responsible for training 100 percent of B-52 crewmembers--pilots, navigators and electronic warfare Noun 1. electronic warfare - military action involving the use of electromagnetic energy to determine or exploit or reduce or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum
military action, action - a military engagement; "he saw action in Korea" officers--in both the nuclear and conventional missions.
Reserve aircrews from the 93rd will form a classic association with the 2nd BW. The name of this associate squadron has yet to be determined. These Reservists will participate in the conventional and nuclear-related activities of the active-duty wing. They will also deploy with the B-52s, the colonel said.
"We are working the process now, with leadership approval, of being named the 343rd Bomb Squadron as a detachment of the 917th Wing," said Lt. Col. Jeff Stogsdill, 93rd BS detachment commander. "(Originally) the 343rd began here at Barksdale on Jan. 28, 1942."
The 343rd's Lt. Donald Puckett was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Operation Tidal Wave Operation Tidal Wave was a World War II aerial bombardment operation by the United States Ninth Air Force to destroy the oil refineries that surrounded the city of Ploieşti in Romania, on August 1 1943. The operation was devised by Colonel (later General) Jacob E. , better known as the raid on the Ploesti oil refineries This is a list of oil refineries. The Oil and Gas Journal also publishes a worldwide list of refineries annually in a country-by-country tabulation that includes for each refinery: location, crude oil daily processing capacity, and the size of each process unit in the refinery. in Romania during World War II, Colonel Stogsdill said.
While it's a historic event, incorporating the Reserve into the nuclear mission does have its challenges.
"The idea of a Reserve bomb squadron with a nuclear mission has been broached before but was determined impractical," Colonel Stogsdill said. "The last decade has seen quite a bit more emphasis on the Air Force Reserve's role in national defense.
"The most challenging factor will be balancing requirements with the traditional Reservists' availability. Volunteerism will be the deal maker."
As part of the overall plan at Barksdale, ACC See adaptive cruise control. will strengthen its nuclear and conventional force presentation to combatant commanders by establishing an operational B-52 squadron, bringing the total number of units involved in the TFI initiative to four.
The final decision to stand up the fourth squadron at Barksdale was made after an environmental impact analysis was completed. The analysis was required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Total funding of $11.8 million, including operations and maintenance design funds, will be required to achieve permanent beddown of the 93rd BS. This could mean a shot in the arm to the local economy. But, there are other benefits to be realized from the reorganization.
"There are two major benefits in having the Reserve assume this training role," said Lt. Col. Keith D. Schultz, 93rd commander. "First is the cost savings. Reservists have a long-standing reputation of bringing highly experienced and qualified members performing the same mission as their active-duty counterparts without having to pay for the full-time salaries and associated benefits.
"Secondly, our members are soundly rooted in the community and remain faithfully committed to their mission year after year without the constant need for diversification and forced relocation assignments. This allows them to focus on the task at hand as a permanent cornerstone of expertise in the traning arena."
Implementation of the reorganization has already begun.
"The 93rd BS is ahead of scheduled milestones in converting combat-ready crew members into (FTU) flight instructors," Colonel Schultz said. "We currently have 30 percent of our crew force through the formal training certification. Our goal is to have all of the Reserve squadron members fully trained and certified to conduct flight line training operations by June 1."
Other phases of the reorganization are on schedule as well, Colonel Stogsdill said. The classic associate unit is incrementally working toward being fully mission ready by Nov. 1.
"I believe this is historic. When I first joined the Army Reserve in college, it was truly one weekend a month and two weeks a year. It's definitely more than that now," Colonel Stogsdill said.
"We have traditional Reservists who work here more than 150 days per year. What makes this nuclear role unique is it will be very difficult if this squadron is comprised of individuals who can only give the minimum time. The full-time cadre (company) CADRE - The US software engineering vendor which merged with Bachman Information Systems to form Cayenne Software in July 1996. is here specifically to minimize 'reinventing the wheel' every time the 'part-timers' show up. Right now, we have an initial contingent of Citizen Airmen who are very motivated to make this work.
"The full spectrum of experience is here in the 917th Wing," the colonel said. "Our youngest people in the 917th are some of the most innovative and hardest-working people I know. Coupled with quite a few gray hairs who actually have years of Strategic Air Command experience, I think we will bring different efficiencies and perspectives to our active-duty brothers and sisters. We always get a little chuckle out of buzzwords, but the synergy of active duty and the Reserve working together will only enhance the war-fighting ability of the Air Force."
Tech. Sgt. Jeff Walston
(Sergeant Walston is assigned to the 917th WG public affairs Those public information, command information, and community relations activities directed toward both the external and internal publics with interest in the Department of Defense. Also called PA. See also command information; community relations; public information. office at Barksdale AFB AFB
AFB Acid-fast bacillus, also 1. Aflatoxin B 2. Aorto-femoral bypass .)