Three U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, operating out of RAF Fairford, England, returned from flights in the Baltic region focused on integration and interoperability training with European allies and partners in the region, Aug 31.
“It’s been an active first week for BTF. After accomplishing an impressive feat with a single-day mission that overflew 30 NATO countries, we continue to visibly demonstrate our capability to extend deterrence globally” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “Our forward presence in the Baltic Sea region today shows our solidarity with NATO and sends a clear deterrence message to any adversary.”
The flight included long-planned training with Belgium, the Netherlands, and the U.K. The B-52 bombers also integrated with Italian Eurofighters, German Eurofighters, and Portuguese F-16s, for an overflight of Riga, Latvia.
KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, enabled the long-range strategic Bomber Task Force 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.