B-52 bomber visits Chennault for training exercises

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 8:53 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A B-52 from Barksdale Air Force Base flew into Chennault this afternoon. There has not been a B-52 bomber at Chennault in recent memory, and it was something to see.

There was an air of excitement as Chennault personnel awaited the arrival of the aircraft from Barksdale. Before landing it made a pass over Lake Charles. It came here on a training mission for Chennault firefighters and airmen.

Chennault Director Kevin Melton is pleased with their relationship with the Air Force.

“We’re excited to have the B-52s of Barksdale Air Force, men and women out here, the airmen of the best and most formidable powerhouse on the face of the planet. So, the fact that Chennault, a former Air Force Base in its time, is here hosting again an Air Force mission. The opportunity to collaborate is just a wonderful opportunity,” said Melton.

The Chennault firefighters trained on emergency response, which Melton says is beneficial is because no two planes are alike.

The Barksdale airmen training included a drill of sorts to quickly move fake bombs and then demonstrate that they could quickly and smoothly load them onto the aircraft.

Ground commander Lt. Col. Amanda Gonsalves is a B-52 weapons system operator out of Barksdale.

“The B-52 is one of our three bombers in the United States Air Force. It is a strategic platform capable of going anywhere on the globe any time we’re needed. And that provides the POTUS and our commanders a lot of flexibility. We carry a variety of conventional and nuclear munitions, just depending on what’s going on,” said Gonsalves. “Coming here today is all about getting the crew additional training and make sure we are as lethal as we possibly can be.”

Boeing says the B-52 is the most combat capable bomber in the U.S. Inventory.

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