President Visits Eglin Air Force Base

May 4, 1962 - The Air Force displayed its manned weapons and its ability to get them launched in a hurry to President Kennedy today at Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso, Fla. From a stand beside a runway, the President pressed a red alert button; the 64 jet motors of eight B-52 nuclear bombers were started; the planes roared down the runway 5 seconds apart. The time between the President’s signal and the take-off of the last bomber was 7 minutes 34 seconds. There followed a “counter-insurgency” demonstration in which a counter-guerrilla detachment of 12 men were brought in by 4 Liaison 28’s — a newly developed small plane which can land in about 100 feet and take off in the same distance. It took only 25 seconds for the planes to land, unload, and take off.

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