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69th Activation
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D.-- Col. Charles E. Patnaude, 5th Operations Group commander, passes the guidon to Lt. Col Michael Cardoza, 69th Bomb Squadron commander, during the 69th’s activation ceremony here, Sept. 3. The new squadron was established to provide each B-52 Wing with two active-duty combat coded squadrons, which will give the Air Force “bench depth” to rotate the squadrons across the mission sets as recommended in the Defense Science Board Report. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lee A. Osberry Jr.)
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69th Bomb Squadron reactivates at Minot AFB

Posted 9/3/2009   Updated 9/3/2009 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Lee Osberry Jr.
Minot Air Force Public Affairs

9/3/2009 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The 69th Bomb Squadron was reactivated during an activation ceremony here Sept. 3. The new unit is the fourth operational B-52H Stratofortress squadron in the Air Force and joins the 23rd Bomb Squadron as the second squadron at Minot. Barksdale Air Force Base, La. has two operational B-52 units, the 20th and 96th.

The new squadron was established to provide each B-52 Wing with two active-duty combat coded squadrons, which will give the Air Force "bench depth" to rotate the squadrons across the mission sets as recommended in the Defense Science Board Report. The much anticipated stand-up was previously announced in 2008 and extensive studies were conducted to determine which base the unit would best fit. Minot was announced as the home and the 69th Bomb Squadron was designated for reactivation on Aug. 28.

"The activation of the 69th Bomb Squadron at Minot Air Force Base is a historic event that continues the legacy of the distinguished 69th Bomb Squadron. In World War II, the 69th Bomb Squadron deployed A-26 and B-26 bombers to Australia and the South Pacific. And during the Vietnam War, the 69th Bomb Squadron stepped up to the plate and deployed B-52 aircraft to Guam and Thailand," said Maj. Gen. Floyd Carpenter, 8th Air Force Commander. "Now more than 65 years after its initial activation, the 69th Bomb Squadron returns to provide deterrence forces and help balance the demands of both the nuclear and conventional missions of the B-52 fleet."

"The 69th has close ties with the 5th [Bomb Wing], and definitely a logical choice" said Lt. Col. Kevin J. Notari, 5th Operations Group Detachment 1 commander. "Both units fought simultaneously out of two different locations in the Southwest Pacific theatre during World War II. Furthermore, the unit was the first Air Force unit to fly night low level combat sorties during the first three days of Desert Storm" he added.

As a result, 10 B-52 aircraft from Barksdale AFB will flow to Minot between Oct. 09 and April 10. There won't be a significant number of personnel that will flow with the aircraft, as personnel for the new squadron will flow in gradually through the normal PCS process and support from the 23rd BS.

"This activation is a measure of the confidence our nation has in the men and women of the Minot Air Force Base," said N.D. Govenor John Hoeven. "The 69th Bomb Squadron will bring approximately 1,000 new military members and their families to the state and will be a major asset to the community, the Minot Air Force Base, and our nation," he added.

The squadron is expected to mirror the other 3 currently established active B-52 squadrons. As the squadron builds up, many of the resources and functions from the 23rd Bomb Squadron will be shared including training, exercises and deployments.

"This adds flexibility to the Air Force Global Strike Command mission," said Maj. William L. Byers 5th OG Det. 1, Chief of Standard Evaluations."The 69th allows for an even distribution of operations tempo between the 2nd Bomb Wing and 5th BW, and at the same time supports the persistent presence in United States Pacific Command," he added. This will help refine and focus nuclear mission training for B-52 units and is part of continued Air Force efforts to reinvigorate the Nuclear Enterprise.

The United States Air Force has a legacy of providing strategic capabilities as stewards of the nuclear enterprise, and is committed to conducting safe, secure and reliable nuclear operations.

The new squadron commander, Lt. Col. Michael R. Cardoza, echoed this sentiment in his remarks during the ceremony.

"It's time to show the world what we are all about. It's time to show the world what we can do," he said. "We have a history of excellence, valor and honor. It's time now to make our own history," he concluded.

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