Guy Harvey muses a bit...pictures by Damien Burke and Mike Kerr
As the conflict in Iraq nears its inevitable conclusion, the need for B-52s to be forward-based at RAF Fairford also diminishes. For over a month the Buffs have drawn spectators to this corner of the Gloucestershire countryside, watching as they took off on their fourteen-hour missions to the Middle East, laden with armaments of all shapes and sizes.
Of particular interest in this campaign has been the extensive use of JDAM, enabling pin-point precision bombing from several miles away. Surprisingly simple technology, it shows how reliant the world is today on GPS signals and how no-one can evade them. Surely the battlefields of the future will be on the edge of space, where neutralising the satellites will render much of today's weaponry and tactical systems ineffective. Why, it'll probably be those B-52s launching such anti-satellite systems in fifty years time...