A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress strategic bomber successfully completed a presence patrol in the Middle East today, marking the second such mission of 2021.
The bomber that conducted the mission was assigned to the USAF’s 5th Bomb Wing stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. During the mission, the bomber received tanker support from KC-10 Extender aerial refueling aircraft assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron assigned to the 380th Expeditionary Operations Group at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE.
.@usairforce B-52H crews conduct second Middle East presence patrol of 2021 as key part of CENTCOM’s defensive posture. @DeptofDefense @USAFCENT @TeamMinot @AirMobilityCmd @US_Stratcom #B52https://t.co/evxntC3GeH pic.twitter.com/or9tKq7cPE
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 17, 2021
Bomber Task Force missions are observable ways to demonstrate the U.S. military’s continuing commitment to regional security, said Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
“‘Short-term deployments of strategic assets are an important part of our defensive posture in the region,” said Gen. Frank McKenzie. “The training opportunity and continued integration with regional partners improves readiness and delivers a clear and consistent message in the operational environment to both friends and potential adversaries, alike.”
This is the fifth Bomber Task Force mission into the Middle East in the last few months. BTF missions or deployments showcase the U.S. Air Force’s ability to rapidly and effectively support missions around the globe and seamlessly integrate into operations.