BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. – A 2nd Bomb Wing B-52 Stratofortress bomber from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisana completed a long-duration operation today designed to test the force’s long-range global-strike capability while training and integrating with key allies and partners.
Barksdale’s bomber took off from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and flew to the North and Baltic Seas and through the English Channel. While in flight the crew conducted intercept training with multiple fighter aircraft assigned to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, as well as North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)-assigned Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter aircraft, before returning home to Barksdale.
“The B-52 is a powerful symbol of American airpower and missions like this demonstrate the incredible capability of the B-52 and the overall readiness of our crews, maintainers and aircraft,” said Col Ty Neuman, 2nd Bomb Wing commander. “Training with allied militaries enables us to build enduring relationships necessary to confront the broad range of global challenges while assuring them our American Airpower will be there if required.”
The Barksdale Airmen were flying in support of POLAR ROAR, a U.S. Strategic Command bomber assure and deter mission. In addition to Barksdale’s contribution, B-52 crews also launched from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota and flew over the North Pole and mainland Alaska, while B-2s from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri launched from their home base and flew over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
POLAR ROAR’s unique design included valuable training in polar navigation and weapons operations, as well as integration with NORAD and NATO – all while testing the bomber force’s ability to support three synchronized flight paths encompassing more than 55,500 miles. Strategic bomber missions like POLAR ROAR ensure crews maintain the readiness and proficiency necessary to provide an always-ready global strike capability.
“POLAR ROAR was specifically designed and closely coordinated with our allies to ensure we are integrating our bomber capabilities with their military assets to the maximum extent, strengthening and improving our interoperability as we work toward mutual goals,” said U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander. “The unique, real-time training with NORAD and NATO that was afforded by POLAR ROAR enables us to build enduring relationships necessary to confront the broad range of global challenges.”
The 2nd Bomb Wing routinely conducts strategic bomber operations that provide valuable opportunities for bomber crews to integrate and train with allies and partners and other global combatant commands in a variety of missions. In fact, incidentally, 22 years ago today, two B-52s launched from Barksdale on a record-setting 47.2-hour nonstop flight around the world under the command of then-2nd Bomb Wing Commander Brig Gen Peyton Cole.