Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

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Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Christophe D. Paul/U.S. Army

If there's anything I know about soldiers, it's that they've been waiting for the chance to listen to Army training manuals while they're exercising, driving, or doing any other activity that keeps them from reading at the same time.

Right?

Well do I have news for you: The Army announced in June that it was going to start publishing Army doctrine audiobooks. Soldiers everywhere, rejoice!

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When it comes to modernizing the Army, going to the traditional defense industry is just not going to cut it.

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MISHAWAKA — On a visit to the AM General Military Assembly plant in Mishawaka Thursday, Secretary of the Army Mark Esper highlighted his plan to modernize the Army and emphasized the important role he said AM General and its HMMWV (Humvee) will play in that modernization.

"The Humvee is a very capable light truck. It's very versatile, it allows us to perform a range of missions," Esper said. "Like we like to say, it's one of many tools in the tool kit."

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A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 307th Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., approaches the refueling boom of a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 931st Air Refueling Group, McConnell Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Victor J. Caputo)

Sixty-seven years after the U.S. Air Force received its last B-52 from Boeing, the flying branch finally has firmed up plans to fit the heavy bomber with new engines.

Air Force magazine in its January 2019 issue took a deep dive into the re-engining effort.

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Lockheed Martin said earlier this month that the last of 52 upgraded C-5M Super Galaxy cargo planes had been delivered to the Air Force, finishing the nearly two-decade-long modernization of the service's largest plane.

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