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Catering to approximately 40 bomber fleet representatives, a bomber summit will be held at Tinker AFB (OK) Sept. 11 and 12.  Topics will include the health of the aircraft, sustainability, capability upgrades and modernization efforts. Additionally, Air Combat Command officials will present a bomber roadmap briefing and information about field-level maintenance and operation issues.

“Our bomber fleet is facing a number of challenges because of the age of the aircraft and the increased flying hours in support of the global war on terrorism,” said Col. Keith Weyenberg, 747th Aircraft Sustainment Group commander and point-of-contact for the summit. “These challenges are affecting our ability to meet the warfighter’s aircraft availability and sortie generation rates needed to support the war on terrorism.”

The summit is hosted by Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, 8th Air Force commander at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, 12th Air Force commander at Davis-Monathan AFB, Ariz.; and Maj. Gen. Loren Reno, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center commander.

According to planners, the concept of the summit began as an e-mail exchange to discuss the current state of the bomber fleet. E-mail traffic flowed between Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and Gen. John Corley, ACC commander at Langley AFB, Va.

The bomber fleet includes the B-52 Stratofortress, which debuted in 1955; the B-1 Lancer, which was introduced to the Air Force in 1986; and the B-2 Spirit, which debuted in 1997. 

Sustainment of the entire fleet, approximately 180 aircraft, is managed at Tinker. Additionally, Tinker maintainers provide B-1 and B-52 depot maintenance. The B-2 depot maintenance is performed by Northrop Grumman specialists under a performance-based logistics contract in Palmdale, Calif.

Brandice Armstrong (AFPN)

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