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Ready for operational service

B-52 ‘Wise Guy’ soon to join Minot AFB bombers

Submitted Photo “Wise Guy,” tail number 60-034, shown in this Air Force photo, the second B-52 bomber to be regenerated for service, is scheduled to arrive at Minot Air Force Base shortly. It replaces a bomber destroyed by fire while in Guam. “Ghost Rider,” tail number 61-007, was the first to return to service a few years ago, also assigned to Minot AFB.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – For the second time in history a B-52 bomber has been removed from long-term storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, restored to service and then returned to flying operations. The bomber is scheduled to arrive at Minot AFB shortly, Air Force officials said.

The bomber named “Wise Guy” was to retire at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration (AMRG) Group at David-Monthan AFB, but when a B-52 bomber was destroyed by a fire during takeoff at Andersen AFB, Guam, “Wise Guy” was selected for regeneration from storage to restore the fleet of Congressionally-mandated 76 aircraft, according to Air Force information.

Earlier, “Ghost Rider” was the first B-52H bomber regenerated at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. It returned to flying operations at Minot AFB about four years ago.

Currently, “Ghost Rider” is at Tinker AFB for routine maintenance, an Air Force official said.

“Wise Guy” began the regeneration process in 2019 at the AMRG “Boneyard” at Davis-Monthan AFB, then was flown to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, for further repairs. The B-52 arrived at Tinker AFB in April and has been undergoing programmed depot maintenance, according to Air Force information.

When the bomber arrives at Minot AFB it will re-enter service and restore the B-52 fleet to 76 aircraft.

According to the Air Force, the START-converted bomber will be equipped for conventional weapons only and will continue the B-52 long-range, heavy bomber mission. In a conventional conflict, the bomber will perform strategic attack, close-air-support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations.

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