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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Last of the B-52 gunners

The Black Vault:

In 1986, Dailey completed Aerial Gunnery Training in then-Castle Air Force Base, Calif. He then served as a tail gunner on board the B-52 Stratofortress.

As part of SAC's Single Integrated Operational Plan for nuclear deterrence in the Cold War, Dailey served as a briefer for various missions, including for the SAC commander on five separate occasions.

"For the next four years, I flew just shy of 1,000 hours as a gunner," he said.

Dailey then volunteered for retraining into Intelligence, beginning a career that would take him with special operations forces in assignments around the world like Africa, Afghanistan and South Korea.

And in the same year the Soviet Union collapsed, the Air Force retired the Air Force specialty career of B-52 gunner in 1991. SAC later became inactivated as a major command the following year.

As of today, many B-52 gunners have retired or currently serve in other fields as part of the Reserve since their former careerfield's inactivation. But Dailey's retirement did not focus on being the last-of-a-kind as much as it highlighted the importance of being part of a team, a family and a legacy of service.
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