The Dragon Is Alive
- Managing Editor
- Clay Dillingham
I run my finger down the schedule until I reach my name and assignment: Major Brad Haynes, Korean Peninsula. In 35 hours, I will board a 1961 B-52H Stratofortress—the backbone of the U.S. strategic bomber force—as part of a standard 24-hour Air Force strategic deterrence mission in response to a nuclear test in North Hamgyong Province. It’s time to show North Korea who’s the boss.
But first, my crew—call sign Havoc 92—has to understand every detail of our assignment, which will cover 9,600 nautical miles, cost millions of dollars, and involve multiple countries. Although the purpose of this mission is to be seen and heard by North Koreans—not to actually attack them—our first step is still to select a target. In this case, the target is to fly to the southern border of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the 2.5-mile-wide buffer between North and South Korea, to make our presence known to our adversary—and to our allies (Japan and South Korea).