The U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers have arrived at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar as part of the earlier announced Bomber Task Force (BTF) deployment in response to the Iranian threats.
The B-52H aircraft, assigned to 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron based at Barksdale Air Force Base, arrived at the Qatari air base on May 8. The bombers refueled from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling aircraft, assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, during the ferry flight.
The Bomber Task Force is deploying to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility (AOR) to defend American forces and interests in the region, said a USCENTCOM statement.
The B-52H can perform strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations, to support stability in the region through a dynamic defense posture, added the statemnet.
National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton has earlier announced that the U.S. is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) region in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings by Iran.
The deployment is to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force, said the statement released by the White House on May 5.