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The Fearsome, Old Warhorse Has Good Maintainers: The venerable B-52 bomber continues to amaze, flying close air support missions over Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. Air Force officials say that over the past eight months, B-52 aircrews have flown more than 450 combat sorties, roughly 7,500 hours. They have released more than 150 weapons. To ensure the old bomber is up to snuff, the service has ground crews in 17 different specialties working 24/7 to maintain the BUFFs in theater. Air Force journalist MSgt Scott King reports that their job is complicated by their operating location, which makes it difficult at times to receive parts “in a timely manner.” And, that’s where the on-site “back-shop” specialists come in, repairing broken parts on the spot.