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April 15 marked the 60th anniversary of the venerable B-52’s first flight. The historic occasion was celebrated at Barksdale Air Force Base at its annual air show. Barksdale is home to Air Force Global Strike Command and the 8th Air Force, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2012. It’s one of two bomber commands in the United States where the B-52 operates. The other is in Minot, North Dakota.
There were 744 B-52s built. The last one rolled off the line in 1962 and the Air Force and Boeing continue to maintain and modernize the remaining 58 B-52s in the active Air Force fleet and the 18 aircraft in the Air Force Reserve.