B-52Hs conduct joint ops

Photo: A B-52H Stratofortress arrives at RAF Fairford, England, on January 10, 2018. USAF/SSgt Trevor T. McBride


Approximately 300 Airmen and four B-52H Stratofortress aircraft assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, are deployed to RAF Fairford, England, to conduct theater integration and flying training. The purpose of the deployment of Air Force Global Strike Command B-52s to RAF Fairford is to exercise a state of readiness at United States Air Forces in Europe’s forward operating location for strategic bombers.

‘The B-52s are instrumental in providing basic bomber assurance and deterrence, supporting the widest array of mission sets of any bomber platform,’ said Capt Matthew, 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron assistant director of operations for logistics and aircraft commander. ‘We can support anti-sea maritime missions, close-air-support and precision strike, and wind-corrected munitions.’

Pilots from the 23rd Bomber Squadron prepare a B-52H Stratofortress for a flight at RAF Fairford. USAF/TSgt Joshua J. Garcia

This 2018 deployment of bombers in Europe will also include joint and allied training to improve bomber interoperability, indeed last week they flew alongside Royal Air Force Typhoons and USAFE F-15Cs .

‘We have the versatility to work with many allied nations, giving them an opportunity to work with bombers that they normally don’t get,’ said Matthew. ‘Ultimately, it’s good for everybody – in addition to other countries, it allows us to train in the region to maintain a state of readiness and ability to deploy with no notice.’

‘While being at RAF Fairford, we execute one of AFGSC’s primary missions to deter and assure,’ said Col Michael Maginness 23rd EBS commander. ‘Our presence here deters any potential adversaries in the region, while assuring our allies of the U.S.’s iron-clad commitment to the region.’

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