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‘Ghost Rider’ in the sky: B-52H departs Tinker in historic flight

“Ghost Rider,” lifts off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27, 2016. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider,” lifts off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27, 2016. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider,” takes to the skies for a functional test flight Aug. 30, 2016, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The B-52H Stratofortress is shown in natural metal since it has been overhauled and must be checked for full functionality before being painted. 61-0007 is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider,” takes to the skies for a functional test flight Aug. 30, 2016, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The B-52H Stratofortress is shown in natural metal since it has been overhauled and must be checked for full functionality before being painted. 61-0007 is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kelly White)

The Ghost Rider Enterprise Team pose Sept. 23, 2016, in front of the historic B-52H Stratofortress that was taken from the National Level Reservoir of Air and Space Capability, the world’s largest airplane storage facility, run by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group near Tucson, Ariz. Ghost Rider spent the last 9 months undergoing extensive programmed depot maintenance at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex before going back into the fight. The team is made up of members of the OC-ALC, 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group, 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group, 76th Commodities Maintenance Group, 848th Supply Chain Management Group, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, 10th Flight Test Squadron and Defense Logistics Agency. (Air Force photo by Darren D. Heusel)

The Ghost Rider Enterprise Team pose Sept. 23, 2016, in front of the historic B-52H Stratofortress that was taken from the National Level Reservoir of Air and Space Capability, the world’s largest airplane storage facility, run by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group near Tucson, Ariz. Ghost Rider spent the last 9 months undergoing extensive programmed depot maintenance at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex before going back into the fight. The team is made up of members of the OC-ALC, 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group, 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group, 76th Commodities Maintenance Group, 848th Supply Chain Management Group, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, 10th Flight Test Squadron and Defense Logistics Agency. (Air Force photo by Darren D. Heusel)

B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' basks in from sun for the first time after being moved from the paint hangar to complete a 19-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Okla. Sept. 22, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The jet has fresh paint along with a newly applied 'Ghost Rider' nose-art under the cockpit and is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' basks in from sun for the first time after being moved from the paint hangar to complete a 19-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Okla. Sept. 22, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The jet has fresh paint along with a newly applied 'Ghost Rider' nose-art under the cockpit and is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

Tape lines and the high-speed vinyl decal have been placed on the nose of B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' for oplacement checks before being applied inside the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Sept. 21, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

Tape lines and the high-speed vinyl decal have been placed on the nose of B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' for oplacement checks before being applied inside the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Sept. 21, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

“Ghost Rider” spent three days in paint before getting its signature nose art and returning to the active fleet. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider” spent three days in paint before getting its signature nose art and returning to the active fleet. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Mark Smith, 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron B-52H crew chief marshalls B-52H 61-0007, “Ghost Rider,” out from the chocks and run-up pad as the crew attempts to take the aircraft for a functional test flight after undergoing a 19-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 30, 2016, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. “Ghost Rider” is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Mark Smith, 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron B-52H crew chief marshalls B-52H 61-0007, “Ghost Rider,” out from the chocks and run-up pad as the crew attempts to take the aircraft for a functional test flight after undergoing a 19-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 30, 2016, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. “Ghost Rider” is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Jake Drew, 566th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, masks seams on the “Ghost Rider” before the sealant is applied Sept. 19, 2016, at Tinker Air Force Base. Workers in the background are applying the sealant to the historic aircraft before it is painted. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Jake Drew, 566th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, masks seams on the “Ghost Rider” before the sealant is applied Sept. 19, 2016, at Tinker Air Force Base. Workers in the background are applying the sealant to the historic aircraft before it is painted. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider” spent three days in paint before getting its signature nose art and returning to the active fleet. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider” spent three days in paint before getting its signature nose art and returning to the active fleet. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Maintenance personnel from the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron work under and around B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' as the aircraft undergoes checks for an attempted functional test flight at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 29, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'OC-ALC' can be seen written on the hangar in the background as 'Ghost Rider' shines in natural metal as it completes a 19-month overhaul and upgrade to become the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)
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Maintenance personnel from the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron work under and around B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' as the aircraft undergoes checks for an attempted functional test flight at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 29, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'OC-ALC' can be seen written on the hangar in the background as 'Ghost Rider' shines in natural metal as it completes a 19-month overhaul and upgrade to become the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

Maintenance personnel from the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron work under and around B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' as the aircraft undergoes checks for an attempted functional test flight at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 29, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is shown in natural metal as it completes a 19-month overhaul and upgrade to become the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)
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Maintenance personnel from the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron work under and around B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' as the aircraft undergoes checks for an attempted functional test flight at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 29, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is shown in natural metal as it completes a 19-month overhaul and upgrade to become the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron reattach the tail on “Ghost Rider” July 31, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo)
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Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron reattach the tail on “Ghost Rider” July 31, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo)

Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron reattach the tail on “Ghost Rider” July 31, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo)
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Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron reattach the tail on “Ghost Rider” July 31, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo)

Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron install one of eight engines on “Ghost Rider” July 8, 2016. The B-52 Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron install one of eight engines on “Ghost Rider” July 8, 2016. The B-52 Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron reattach the tail on “Ghost Rider” July 31, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo)
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Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron reattach the tail on “Ghost Rider” July 31, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo)

Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron reattach the tail on “Ghost Rider” July 31, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo)
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Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron reattach the tail on “Ghost Rider” July 31, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo)

"Ghost Rider," a B-52H Stratofortress that was pulled from the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., to replace another damaged B-52, arrived at Tinker Air Force Base in December 2015. The historic aircraft spent the last 9 months undergoing extensive repairs in programmed depot maintenance here. The work was completed 90 days ahead of schedule. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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"Ghost Rider," a B-52H Stratofortress that was pulled from the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., to replace another damaged B-52, arrived at Tinker Air Force Base in December 2015. The historic aircraft spent the last 9 months undergoing extensive repairs in programmed depot maintenance here. The work was completed 90 days ahead of schedule. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Jamin Alato, an aircraft mechanic with the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, replaces nut plates on "Ghost Rider's" vertical stabilizer. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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Jamin Alato, an aircraft mechanic with the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, replaces nut plates on "Ghost Rider's" vertical stabilizer. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

B-52H, 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' taxis with the skyline of Oklahoma City visible in the background before an attempted functional test flight after undergoing a 19-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 29, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is shown in natural metal since it has been overhauled and must be checked for full functionality before being painted. 61-0007 is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)
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B-52H, 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' taxis with the skyline of Oklahoma City visible in the background before an attempted functional test flight after undergoing a 19-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 29, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is shown in natural metal since it has been overhauled and must be checked for full functionality before being painted. 61-0007 is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

Mark Smith, 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron B-52H crew chief runs to position himself in front of B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' in order to launch the aircraft on an attempted functional test flight at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 29, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)
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Mark Smith, 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron B-52H crew chief runs to position himself in front of B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' in order to launch the aircraft on an attempted functional test flight at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Aug. 29, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' cockpit after shown after overhaul by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Okla. Sept. 23, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)
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B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' cockpit after shown after overhaul by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Okla. Sept. 23, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

The throttle controls of B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' after overhaul by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Okla. Sept. 23, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)
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The throttle controls of B-52H 61-0007, 'Ghost Rider,' after overhaul by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Okla. Sept. 23, 2016, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)

Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron install one of eight engines on “Ghost Rider” July 8, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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Members of the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron install one of eight engines on “Ghost Rider” July 8, 2016. The B-52H Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, recently underwent extensive programmed depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base. 'Ghost Rider' is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to fully-operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Jamin Alato, an aircraft mechanic with the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, replaces nut plates on “Ghost Rider’s” vertical stabilizer. The B-52 Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, is currently undergoing extensive programmed depot maintenance here at Tinker Air Force Base. (Air Force photo by Kelly White/Released)
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Jamin Alato, an aircraft mechanic with the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, replaces nut plates on “Ghost Rider’s” vertical stabilizer. The B-52 Stratofortress, tail number 61-007, is currently undergoing extensive programmed depot maintenance here at Tinker Air Force Base. (Air Force photo by Kelly White/Released)

Chris Carson and Martin Harpster, both aircraft mechanics with the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, work on throttle cable pullies on the right wing of “Ghost Rider.” (Air Force photo by Kelly White/Released)
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Chris Carson and Martin Harpster, both aircraft mechanics with the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, work on throttle cable pullies on the right wing of “Ghost Rider.” (Air Force photo by Kelly White/Released)

“Ghost Rider,” passes by Bldg. 3001 before taking off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Darren D. Heusel)
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“Ghost Rider,” passes by Bldg. 3001 before taking off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Darren D. Heusel)

“Ghost Rider,” heads home to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Mark Hybers)
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“Ghost Rider,” heads home to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Mark Hybers)

“Ghost Rider,” takes off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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“Ghost Rider,” takes off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Col. Doug Warnock, 5th Operations Group commander, a member of the B-52 crew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., that came to take the “Ghost Rider” home, gets a first-hand look at the installation of the Combat Network Communication Technology system from Mr. Heath Burnett, B-52H Avionics/Electrics Section Chief. Colonel Warnock was joined on the Sept. 27 tour of the B-52 programmed depot maintenance line by other crew members Lt. Col. Ryan McGough, Lt. Col. Jeremy Holmes, 1st Lt. Adam Carr and 1st Lt. Nathan Fisher. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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Col. Doug Warnock, 5th Operations Group commander, a member of the B-52 crew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., that came to take the “Ghost Rider” home, gets a first-hand look at the installation of the Combat Network Communication Technology system from Mr. Heath Burnett, B-52H Avionics/Electrics Section Chief. Colonel Warnock was joined on the Sept. 27 tour of the B-52 programmed depot maintenance line by other crew members Lt. Col. Ryan McGough, Lt. Col. Jeremy Holmes, 1st Lt. Adam Carr and 1st Lt. Nathan Fisher. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Col. Kenyon Bell, 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group commander, addresses the media Sept. 27, before “Ghost Rider” left Tinker Air Force Base for Minot AFB, N.D. “Ghost Rider,” a B-52H Stratofortress that was pulled from long-term storage at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., arrived at Tinker Air Force Base in December 2015. The historic aircraft spent the last nine months undergoing extensive repairs in programmed depot maintenance here. The work was completed 90 days ahead of schedule.  (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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Col. Kenyon Bell, 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group commander, addresses the media Sept. 27, before “Ghost Rider” left Tinker Air Force Base for Minot AFB, N.D. “Ghost Rider,” a B-52H Stratofortress that was pulled from long-term storage at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., arrived at Tinker Air Force Base in December 2015. The historic aircraft spent the last nine months undergoing extensive repairs in programmed depot maintenance here. The work was completed 90 days ahead of schedule. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider,” taxis Sept. 27, 2016, before it takes off to head to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet.  The historic aircraft, 61-007, is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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“Ghost Rider,” taxis Sept. 27, 2016, before it takes off to head to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. The historic aircraft, 61-007, is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider,” taxis Sept. 27, 2016, before it takes off to head to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet.  The historic aircraft, 61-007, is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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“Ghost Rider,” taxis Sept. 27, 2016, before it takes off to head to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. The historic aircraft, 61-007, is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider,” takes off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27, 2016. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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“Ghost Rider,” takes off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27, 2016. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

“Ghost Rider,” takes off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27, 2016. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)
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“Ghost Rider,” takes off for Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where it will rejoin the B-52H fleet. After undergoing a nine-month overhaul and upgrade by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 61-007 left Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27, 2016. The historic aircraft is the first B-52H to ever be regenerated from long-term storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and returned to full operational flying status. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

The first B-52H Stratofortress to be resurrected from long term storage at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) to rejoin the active strategic bomber fleet soared into the sky from Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 27.

The historic flight of tail number 61-007, known as “Ghost Rider” on its nose art, marked the end of the warbird’s 19-month transformation from a mothballed 55-year-old, eight-engine jet parked in the Arizona desert to a fully updated conventional- and nuclear-capable global strike bomber platform.

Tinker AFB’s 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group handed over the plane 90 days ahead of schedule to Air Force Global Strike Command. “Ghost Rider” will join the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, N.D.

“I am extremely proud of the team that was able to deliver Ghost Rider back to Air Force Global Strike Command,” said Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Commander Brig. Gen. Mark Johnson. “This is really a testament to accomplishing the Art of the Possible. It shows that when there is a common goal, team members from across multiple organizations can rally behind the objective and deliver their team's full impact to the project. Everyone involved -- 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, aircrew, engineers, Defense Logistics Agency, and Air Force supply chain professionals, and of course, mechanics, schedulers, planners, from across the OC-ALC -- all brought their best to return combat capability back to the warfighter. Our ALC should be proud, Tinker AFB should be proud and Oklahoma should be proud of this historic aviation accomplishment.”

Tinker’s 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron completed the overhaul, modernization and restoration work in 272 calendar, or flow days.

Charles “Chuck” Alley, 565th AMXS director, said maintainers, engineers and support teams were excited to work on the historic project, spending approximately 45,000 man-hours restoring “Ghost Rider” to fighting shape.

Mr. Alley said pilots of Tinker’s 10th Flight Test Squadron flew the B-52 six times to verify system functionality and ensure a safe and reliable aircraft before declaring the plane ready for delivery Sept. 13. The jet needed an extra 7,000 man hours over normal programmed depot maintenance to “get it up to speed with all the other B-52s in the fleet,” Mr. Alley said.

“I told people during test flight that because the aircraft sat in the desert so long, we’re knocking all the ghosts out of it,” the director said. “It seemed like every time it came back it had two or three different things wrong with it.”

Lt. Col. Darrel Hines, B-52 flight commander with the 10th Flight Test Squadron, flew the plane from Arizona to Barksdale AFB, La., in February 2015, and flew in part of the six final functional test flights. The plane arrived at Tinker on Dec. 14, 2015 with overhaul and maintenance work beginning Dec. 31, 2015. The plane was due to be delivered later this year on Dec. 23 but delivered 90 days early.

Colonel Hines praised all the organizations involved in the restoration, including the 309th AMARG, the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, and above all the maintainers whose skilled hands-on work made the difference.

“This was a great team effort from multiple commands and it was a great success,” Colonel Hines said. “Now this plane is going to come out of Tinker back to the warfighter, and it’s going to be a huge asset to the guys going out in combat.”

Brenden Shaw, production management chief for Tinker’s B-52 Systems Program Office, helped oversee “Ghost Rider’s” revival from the beginning. He watched it receive new fuel, oil and some other minor additions when the engines were initially restarted at AMARG.

Mr. Shaw described the project as a huge undertaking into “uncharted territories” for organizations including Air Force Global Strike Command, Program Depot Maintenance, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Air Force Supply Chain team and the Air Staff.

Mr. Shaw thanked all the team members who had a “part in making this historic event happen ahead of schedule. It is truly impressive what we can accomplish when we all pull in the same direction.”

"Ghost Rider” will join 75 other B-52H Stratofortresses in the Air Force’s operational bomber fleet.