B-52s strike Iraqi targets
By Tech. Sgt. Jason Tudor, 457th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs
/ Published March 22, 2003
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (AFPN) -- Bomber aircraft from this deployed location participated in their first strike operations March 21 and continue to pound targets in the U.S. Central Command theater of operations in a coalition effort to disarm the Iraqi regime.
All of the bombers deployed for the mission returned without incident. B-52 Stratofortresses struck targets across Iraq.
KC-135 Stratotankers and KC-10 Extenders from across the U.S. European and Central Command theaters of operations provided the needed fuel to the bombers.
As aircrews taxied from this location and took to the air, they held small American flags out the window. Maintenance, supply and other airmen pumped their firsts and waved as the 159-foot bombers rolled by.
As a B-52 nicknamed Iron Butterfly lifted off the runway here on its way to Iraq, Senior Airman Dustin Karas, one of the crew chiefs for that bomber, pumped his fist and announced his excitement over the roar of the engines.
"There's no better feeling!" he said following more than three hours of pre-flight checks. "It's unbelievable!"