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A New Threshold for Christmas: B-52s of the 2nd Bomb Wing will suspend flying for the duration of this month for critical runway repairs at Barksdale AFB, La., beginning Friday. Requiring less of the base's 11,777-foot runway, A-10 sorties will continue uninterrupted there until Dec. 22, thanks to a temporary threshold. "The base material under runway 33 North Touchdown Zone needs to be replaced to assure safe aircraft landings. Once these repairs are completed, safety of future flying missions will be improved," explained David Nesmith of Barksdale's 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron. In addition to threshold-bed repairs on runway 15/33, workers are scheduled to replace a keel section at the north end of the runway and rectify drainage issues. In the mean time, "we will continue conducting simulator training in order to stay prepared," assured Lt. Col. Eric Sikes, 96th Bomb Squadron operations director. Flight operations are slated to resume Jan 2. (Barksdale report by SrA. LaShanette Garrett)