U.S. Air Force Returns B-52 Bomber, Named ‘Wise Guy’, Back into Active Duty from Boneyard

The U.S. Air Force has returned a B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber, nicknamed “Wise Guy”, back into active service from the aircraft boneyard in Arizona.

The aircraft was retired eleven years ago and was kept in storage at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) facility in Tucson, Arizona. AMARG, often called ‘The Boneyard’, is a USAF aircraft and missile storage and maintenance facility located on Davis–Monthan Air Force Base.

Both Reserve and active duty Airmen flew the jet to Barksdale Air Force Base on May 14 to begin the next phase of its life protecting U.S. interests at home and abroad, said a statement from USAF’s 307th Bomb Wing (307 BW).

The “Wise Guy” is only the second B-52H ever to be taken from the 309th AMARG for active service and will replace a B-52H that crashed at Andersen Air Force Base, on the island of Guam, in 2016. The first, nicknamed “Ghost Rider,” was brought to Barksdale AFB in 2015, by members of the 307th and 2nd Bomb Wings. Most B-52s sent to AMARG never fly again.

With more than 17,000 flight hours in its history and more than a decade baking in the desert, getting “Wise Guy” airworthy required help from multiple sources.

Fully restoring the jet will require 550 personnel across multiple maintenance disciplines and cost approximately $30 million, according to guidance released by Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). The aircraft is expected to be completely restored by early 2021.

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