MINOT AIR FORCE BASE More than 200 airmen and two B-52 bombers from Minot Air Force Base's newest B-52 squadron will deploy next week for Guam, said base officials.
This will be the first deployment for the 69th Bomb Squadron, which was reactivated at the Minot base Sept. 4, 2009.
Historically, it is the first time the 69th will deploy to Andersen AFB, Guam, since the Vietnam War. The 69th is a distinguished unit that also had deployments of its bombers during World War II.
A B-52H Stratofortress from the 69th Bomb Squadron at Minot Air Force Base speeds down the runway during a rapid launch exercise at the base June 28, shown in this photo by Tech. Sgt. Lee A. Osberry Jr. The 69th, a B-52 squadron, will be going on its first deployment this month since the squadron was reactivated at the Minot base last year.
Led by Lt. Col. Michael Cordoza, the 69th is the second and newest B-52 squadron at Minot AFB. The other B-52 squadron at Minot AFB is the 23rd Bomb Squadron, which currently is on a deployment in Guam.
The 69th is deploying as part of U.S. Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence, base officials said. It will also be the first time the 5th Bomb Wing at the Minot base is a unit, has back-to-back deployments in support of the continuous bomber presence in Guam. The 69th and 23rd are units of the 5th Bomb Wing.
"We are ready to deploy anytime, anyplace," said Col. Douglas Cox, commander of the 5th Bomb Wing.
Advance teams will leave for Guam Saturday, said Capt. Genieve N. David, chief of Public Affairs at the Minot base.
The 23rd Bomb Squadron is scheduled to return later this month from Guam where it has been for nearly six months. The 69th Bomb Squadron's rotation will last about the same length of time, base officials said.