BUFF still providing global reach

  • Published
  • By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – With more than 60 years of service, the B-52 Stratofortress is an icon of global reach and central to the Air Force’s ability to project power anywhere, anytime. 
And that isn’t likely to change soon. 
Col. Louis Ruscetta, as an Air Force brat, has spent much of his life at flightlines around the world.  Today, he serves as Senior Materiel Leader for the B-52 program office and leads a team that is working to ensure the B-52 is available when the nation calls. 
“There's such a special culture in the BUFF [Big Ugly Fat Fellow] that you're part of something that's unique and historic,” Ruscetta said during an episode of AFLCMC’s Leadership Log podcast.  “There's just this love of the platform. And it's not really inspired by a leader because we come and go.  It's really inspired by the history of the platform and the opportunities for the future.”   
The B-52 team that manages the program is located primarily at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma with a large presence at Wright-Patterson and many other locations around the world.  Additionally, there are many more that provides the critical maintenance to keep it flying. 
“There's no way that this airplane can operate and be sustained without the hundreds of folks working here at the depot at Tinker under the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex,” Ruscetta said. 
It has a storied beginning.  The original aircraft design called for four propeller engines which were unable to meet Air Force needs at the beginning of the Cold War.  This led to the famous tale where Boeing engineers redesigned the aircraft over a weekend creating the 8 jet engine, swept wing bomber we see today. 
The B-52 has been through a number of changes over the years to keep up with ever-changing technology.  A new radar and new communications gear are just a few updates.  There are even plans to replace the eight TF-33 engines with modern versions, Ruscetta said. 
To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at https://youtu.be/dvuMJrazGZM.  You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.