15 B-52H Stratofortress bombers took part in a minimum interval takeoff exercise.
A MITO is a maneuver that B-52 crews use to get aircraft off the ground as quickly as possible to complete a mission. Each aircraft is equipped with eight starter cartridges, one per engine, filled with gunpowder, which allows the engines to start up faster than for a normal takeoff.
“A MITO is something we practice as part of our nuclear mission,” said Col. Leland Bohannon, 2nd Bomb Wing vice commander. “It is a procedure that allows Barksdale and the B-52 crews to provide nuclear deterrence giving our allies the assurance that we have the capability needed to deter our adversaries.”
The purpose of this exercise was to maintain Barksdale’s readiness, support the conventional and nuclear mission of the B-52 and preparedness of the base’s nuclear capabilities.
“This was good training for our crews because it enabled us to train for one of the three missions we have here; nuclear deterrence,” said Bohannon.
A MITO was a common practice during the Cold War and is one of the things that Barksdale still practices today.
“Although we are not in those days anymore, a MITO is a training and operational capability we still maintain,” said Bohannon. “It allows us to get a large number of aircraft off the ground in a very short period of time. This exercise is geared towards training like we fight. It ensures our aircrew and maintenance personnel are ready to perform and execute at a moment’s notice.”