Barksdale flight line crews brave the cold

By Brittany Pieper – email

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) – The Airmen at Barksdale Air Force Base are passionate about the B-52s assigned to Global Strike Command. It takes hours of preparation to get them ready for flight, no matter how cold it is.

"About 2 to 3 hours just looking over the jet making sure that everything is where it's supposed to be," said Airman 1st Class Francois Sidney.

The maintenance crew started its shift on the flight line early Wednesday morning. Wind can gust up to 35 miles per hour.

"When we first got out here it was about 15, 16 degrees out, so it can get pretty cold out," said Sidney.

Crews say between the concrete and the wind chill, even when it's about 20 degrees out it can feel like it's below zero.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Markey says the only way to deal with the cold is to wear plenty of layers and focus on the job.

"I counted my layers earlier, and I'm wearing 10 on top and 5 on the bottom.," he said.

Not only is the cold uncomfortable, but it can cause technical problems. Those problems mean more time outside making sure the B-52s are ready for flight. However, the maintenance crews don't complain. They are proud to do their part for national security.

"We're here to do a mission, and the nation knows that Barksdale Air Force Base is here. Global Strike Command is here for them, and we're here to defend the nation at any cost," said Markey.

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