Bombers deploy, operate across multiple theaters projecting power during pandemic

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BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. – Air Force Global Strike Command is conducting operations globally, demonstrating the command’s ability to provide flexible options and project combat power while supporting all combatant command priorities.

“U.S. Strategic Command units regularly conduct training with, and in, support of all Geographic Combatant Commands. In our case, this takes the form of Bomber Task Force missions which provide our Strikers opportunities to integrate with allies and partners and to become familiar with multiple forward areas of operation,” said Gen. Tim Ray, AFGSC and Air Forces Strategic-Air commander. “All of this feeds into a larger effort to assure allies and partners, and to help maintain global stability and security.”

In May, B-1B Lancers from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in support of Pacific Air Forces’ BTF missions. Over the course of the month and into June, the B-1Bs as well as B-52H Stratofortresses conducted bilateral training with the Koku-Jieitai, or Japanese Air Self-Defense Force.

Meanwhile in the European Command area of responsibility, two B-52Hs from the 5th BW, Minot AFB, North Dakota, conducted a long-range, long duration strategic mission throughout Europe, the Arctic and Baltic regions, June 15, while also integrating with the Baltic Operations exercise.

The 5th BW’s participation in the 49th iteration of the BALTOPS exercise follows their most recent training exercise over the Arctic Ocean and Laptev Sea, wherein four B-52Hs conducted training with Norwegian F-16s and F-35s, June 3.

Most recently, three B-52H bombers with the 96th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, returned to the Indo-Pacific region June 14 to conduct BTF operations out of Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The bombers are supporting Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces, and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the region. The last time B-52Hs deployed to Eielson AFB was July of 2017.

“BTF missions are routine demonstrations of the credibility of our forces to address a diverse and uncertain security environment, and particularly AFGSC’s ability to deliver lethal, long-range strike options across the globe anytime, anywhere,” Ray added.

As the sole provider of bombers for the Western Alliance, AFGSC Strikers train to be the premier long-range precision strike force that provides the nation and its allies the ability to compete, deter and win on the world stage.