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Known officially as the Stratofortress, the mighty B-52 is sometimes referred to as a dragon for its size, dominance, and relentlessness. The B-52 is also affectionately called a BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fellow—or Fucker, depending on the company you keep) for its ungainly appearance. The B-52 model H (B-52H) is the only model of the plane that is capable of carrying nuclear weapons. THE DRAGON IS ALIVE The five-person crew of a B-52 Stratofortress is responsible for flying a 55-year-old dragon for 24 hours at a time at 650 miles per hour above some of the world’s most dangerous countries—without navigation displays, modern computers, or a flushing toilet. And they like it. Prep time Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, South Pacific February 2008 I run my finger down the schedule until I reach my name and assignment: Major Brad Haynes, Korean Peninsula. In 35 hours, I will board a 1961 B-52H Stratofortress—the backbone of the U.S. strategic bomber force—as part of a standard 24-hour Air Force strategic deterrence mission in response to a nuclear test in North Hamgyong Province. It’s time to show North Korea who’s the boss. But first, my crew—call sign Havoc 92—has to understand every detail of our assignment, which will cover 9,600 nautical miles, cost millions of dollars, and involve multiple countries. Although the purpose of this mission is to be seen and heard by North Koreans—not to actually attack them—our first step is still to select a target. In this case, the target is to fly to the southern border of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the 2.5-mile-wide buffer between North and South Korea, to make our presence known to our adversary—and to our allies (Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea). We gather in the windowless, vault-like mission planning room, the five of us wearing flight suits and seated around a conference table. Our average age is 26. Jane, the pilot, is our aircraft com- mander. Paul is the copilot, and George is the radar navigator. Richard is the electronic warfare officer—also called the EWO or the “defender” because he electronically jams and scrambles the locating and targeting capabilities of the enemy’s missiles and fighter jets. Then there’s me. I am the other navigator, also called the “offender” because I offend the enemy when dropping preci- sion-guided bombs on them. Together we work backward from our target, discussing mission support assets, obtaining diplo- matic clearances, air traffic, and weather. The pilot team breaks off to learn more about our air- craft, fuel, and takeoff data. George and I, as the navigation team, start planning routes, weapons needed, scheduling, and food menus. Richard looks at potential enemy threats, such as surface- to-air missiles and fighter aircraft. He also considers how to use allied aircraft to help with jamming the enemy’s radar and targeting capabilities. National Security Science December 2016 27