Two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers conducted flights over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, on Sept. 16, focused on integration and interoperability training with European allies and partners in the region.
The bombers from the USAF’s 5th Bomb Wing based at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, is currently operating out of RAF Fairford, England.
“The opportunity for our bomber aircrews to deploy to Fairford and refine their skill sets along with partner nations is an invaluable experience.” said Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham, United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa deputy commander. “Our sustained forward presence in this AOR increases our operational capability and shows our solidarity with NATO.”
The flight included long-planned training with Hellenic Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, Italian Air Force Eurofighters, Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons and U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
A USAF KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from 100th Air Refueling Wing stationed at RAF Mildenhall, England enabled the long-range strategic Bomber Task Force (BTF) Europe mission by providing aerial refueling support.
“Ongoing bomber missions showcase the Air Force’s ability to continue executing flying missions, sustain readiness, and support our allies and partners, regardless of any external challenge to include the current global COVID-19 crisis response. These bomber missions represent the U.S. commitment to our allies and enhance regional security”, aid a statement released by the U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA).