Australia will host up to three U.S. Air Force (USAF) B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers in Darwin as part of Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) initiative with the United States.
The aircraft will take part in training activities with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) from late March through to early April and will build on training activities already carried out between the United States and Australia.
In November 2011, the Australian and United States Governments announced a broad concept for increased defence cooperation in Australia under the United States Force Posture Initiatives. The Initiatives comprise of annual deployments of U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) personnel and the Enhanced Air Cooperation activities in Australia.
The USAF B-52 Bombers, from Pacific Air Force’s (PACAF) Andersen Air Force base in Guam, will train with F/A-18A Hornet fighter jets and PC-9 aircraft as well as ADF Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) in designated military airspace near RAAF Williamtown.
The training provides the ADF with a valuable opportunity to integrate Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft and ADF personnel with USAF B-52 Bombers in close air support (CAS) scenarios. EAC training exercises are designed to increase the ability of Australian and US air forces to operate together and to enhance security cooperation in the region.
RAAF Base Darwin has previously hosted USAF B-52 Bombers which took part in ADF training exercises in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
The Australian Department of Defence said in a statement that while arriving and departing from RAAF Base Darwin, the USAF B-52 Bombers will comply with Air Force’s aircraft noise policy and that no night or weekend flying is scheduled as part of this training exercise.
It added that the exact flight dates and timings for the aircraft will not be released for security reasons.