U.S. Air Force B-52H Strategic Bombers Train with U.S. Navy P-8A Patrol Aircraft Over East China Sea

Two U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers participated in a joint training mission with two U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in the vicinity of Japan over the East China Sea, Aug. 1.

The B-52Hs that participated in the mission were assigned to the 96th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron (96th EBS), deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana while the P-8As were assigned to Navy Patrol Squadrons, VP-45 and VP-4.

This marks the second joint force integration in as many weeks for the 96th EBS aircrew. They used the mission to familiarize themselves with the Indo-Pacific region and demonstrate, though multi-service flight operations, the United States’ commitment to operating freely across the global commons.

The flight was flown as part of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s (USINDOPACOM) Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) program that has been ongoing since March 2004.

The routine employment of CBP missions in the USINDOPACOM area of responsibility are in accordance with international law and are intended to maintain the readiness of U.S. forces and are a key component to improving combined and joint service interoperability.

The Stratofortresses, earlier deployed to the region in July 2016, assumed responsibility for CBP operations earlier this year from the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancers, deployed from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. The B-52H’s return to the Pacific provided USINDOPACOM and its regional allies and partners with a credible, strategic power projection platform, while bringing years of repeated operational experience.

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