- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The Minot Air Force Base is sending a number of B-52 bombers to the Middle East, the first time in 12 years that aircraft from the base have been deployed to support combat operations.

More than 400 members of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot departed last week in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the effort to combat Islamic State militants. The Air Base’s 23rd Bomb Squadron will lead the bomb wing, flying combat operations out of the Middle East.

The B-52 Stratofortress aircraft is a long-range strategic bomber jet, which will take over day-to-day operations.

Col. Matthew Brooks, 5th Bomb Wing commander, says it’s a historic deployment for the unit.

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