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Barksdale BUFFs Shine: B-52s of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, La., flew 100 percent of their assigned sorties in July, notching up the wing's highest mission-capable rate in at least 16 years, thanks to stellar work by their maintainers. The wing's bombers completed 600 flying hours last month without scrubbing a single sortie due to scheduling, maintenance, parts availability, or last-minute aborts, according to the wing's Aug. 6 release. "As far as we know, this is the first time that this has happened here," said Lt. Col. Thomas Kirkham, 2nd Maintenance Group deputy commander. "We only have records dating back to 1996, but . . . this is no small feat for any base with [air]planes as old as ours," he added. Even through a Red Flag training exercise at Nellis AFB, Nev., and a wing inspection, 2nd BW wing maintainers met or exceeded all nine of the B-52's maintenance metrics, according to the release. "It takes a special group," said Kirkham. (Barksdale report by SSgt. Jason McCasland)