A B-52H Stratofortress takes off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 23 during Northern Edge 2009. The B-52 is a long-range bomber assigned to Barksdale AFB, La. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Boitz)
The Boeing B-52H Stratofortress is in its fifth decade of operational service. It primarily provides the United States with immediate nuclear and conventional global strike capability. The B-52H is the most combat capable bomber in the U.S. inventory. Due to its high mission-capable rate, long range, persistence and ability to employ accurate standoff weapons and Joint Direct Attack Munitions, the B-52H continues to be a major contributor to the U.S. and allied forces.