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36th Wing honors fallen during 36th Linebacker II ceremony

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shane Dunaway
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Team Andersen honored the Airmen who lost their lives participating in Operation Linebacker II during the 36th Linebacker II ceremony at Arc Light Memorial Park here Dec. 18.
Operation Linebacker II was conducted from Dec. 18, 1972 to Dec. 29, 1972 after peace talks between the U.S. and North Vietnam broke down.
"Linebacker II was one of the most successful campaigns in the history of airpower and is often held up as an example of how air wars should be fought," said Capt. John Rolsen, 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron.

During his speech, Brig. Gen. Phil Ruhlman, 36th Wing commander, shed light on the significance of the 11-day offensive on North Vietnam that effectively ended the Vietnam War.
"The operation was a success, but it came at a cost," General Ruhlman said. "That cost was 15 B-52s and 33 crewmembers who were lost after more than 700 sorties and 15,000 tons of bombs."
The sacrifices made by those lost in Linebacker II paved the way for the current iteration of expeditionary bombers. 

"This really helps us remember what our profession is all about," Capt. Rolsen said. "By continuing this warrior legacy as a part of the continuous bomber presence, we honor their legacy every day. Events like this really help drive that point home for many of us."
The flag at Arc Light Memorial Park will remain at half-staff through Dec. 29 in honor of the 33 Airmen who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

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