190809-F-DQ193-1088

Members of the Storm 1 and Storm 2 aircrews pose in front of a B-52 Stratofortress at Barksdale Air Force Base on August 9. Two B-52s flew around the world in approximately 47 hours, demonstrating that the aircraft could reach any target anywhere in the world without landing.

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA -- Over 25 years ago, on August 1, 1994, the 96th Bomb Squadron flew a mission that took two B-52H Stratofortresses around the world.

The mission had the two bombers, Storm 1 and Storm 2, hit a target in the Middle East and return to Barksdale by circling the earth, proving that the B-52 can hit any target in the world without having to stop for fuel.

On August 9, 2019, 12 of the 16 aircrew members from that mission returned to Barksdale to tell their stories and visit with current members of the 96th BS.

“It’s reinvigorating to see the younger crew members coming along, knowing we are in good hands,” said retired Brig. Gen Payton Cole, Storm 1 flight commander. “We have so much we can give these crew members. We’re telling them some of their history. If you don't learn from history you’re doomed to repeat it.”

The airmen not only listened to their stories, but also told their own, connecting the B-52’s past to its present.

“The biggest benefit is the link to our heritage,” said Lt. Col. John Baker, 96th BS commander.

Linking airmen to their history helps show the impact of their roles to the mission and inspires them to move forward.

“How you act and what you say on the jet is 96 percent the same as what it was 25 years ago,” Baker said. “The young Lieutenants, some who weren't even born when this sortie took place 25 years ago, can identify with (the visiting aircrews).”

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