Four U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortresses conducted flights from RAF Fairford, England, to several places in Europe on March 18, 2019, including to the Norwegian Sea, the Baltic Sea/Estonia and the Mediterranean Sea/Greece.
The B-52s, part of the Bomber Task Force currently deployed to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, are from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The aircraft arrived in theater on March 14-15 and are temporarily operating out of RAF Fairford.
In Estonia, a B-52 conducted training with NATO Joint Terminal Attack Controllers on the ground. In Greece, a B-52 conducted interoperability training with Greek F-16 fighter jets.
The mission to Greece was enabled by aerial refueling support from a KC-135 Stratotanker based out of RAF Mildenhall, England.
The purpose of the flights was to conduct theater familiarization for aircrew members and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. U.S. Strategic Command regularly tests and evaluates the readiness of strategic assets to ensure we are able to honor our security commitments.
The deployment of strategic bombers to the U.K. helps exercise RAF Fairford as U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s forward operating location for bombers.
Strategic bomber missions enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe.