USAF B-52. Photo: AFP
USAF B-52. Photo: AFP

Defense One reports in an exclusive story that the US Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, in a military status not activated since the Cold War ended in 1991.

If it happens, the step would require a number of the vintage nuclear-armed bombers to be ready for take off from key US airfields at a moment’s notice. It is believed to be a response to the continuing crisis with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

“This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, said in an interview with Defense One during his six-day tour of Barksdale and other US Air Force bases that support the US’s nuclear mission. “I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”

President Donald Trump boasted about US military readiness in a weekend interview with Fox News network. “We are so prepared like you wouldn’t believe,” Trump said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Trump told Maria Bartiromo, the show’s host, that she “would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are if we need to be,” adding, “Would it be nice to do that? The answer is yes. Will that happen? Who knows, who knows, Maria.”