U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers conducted a short-notice, long-range mission into the Middle East on Nov. 21, the military said.
According to Navy Captain Bill Urban, spokesman of U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), the mission conducted by B-52Hs assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing based at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota (N.D.) was to “deter aggression and reassure U.S. partners and allies”.
“The non-stop mission demonstrates the U.S. military’s ability to deploy combat airpower anywhere in the world on short notice and integrate into CENTCOM operations to help preserve regional stability and security”, the statement said.
“Bomber Task Force missions highlight the robust and varied USAF capabilities that can be made rapidly available in the CENTCOM AOR,” said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander. “The ability to quickly move forces into, out of and around the theater to seize, retain and exploit the initiative is key to deterring potential aggression. These missions help bomber aircrews gain familiarity with the region’s airspace and command and control functions and allow them to integrate with the theater’s U.S. and partner air assets, increasing the combined force’s overall readiness.”
During the mission, the bomber aircrews integrated with air operations centers and other AFCENT assets such as F-15E Strike Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, KC-10 Extenders and KC-135 Stratotankers.
The last U.S. long-range bomber presence in the Middle East was in early 2020.