by Airman 1st Class Mozer O. Da Cunha
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
3/9/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. - -- Barksdale
aircrew, maintainers and B-52H Stratofortresses deployed to Andersen
Air Force Base, Guam, March 3 in support of U.S. Pacific Command's
continuous bomber presence campaign.
PACOM's rotational strategic bomber presence in the region has surpassed
its 10-year mark, providing a significant capability that enables our
readiness and commitment to extended deterrence, assures our allies, and
strengthens regional security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
"This time around, we are replacing our own brothers and sisters from
the 96th Bomb Squadron," said Senior Master Sgt. Walter Leitnaker, 2nd
Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant superintendent. "The 20th Bomb
Squadron and 20th Aircraft Maintenance Unit are rolling out to replace
One of the purposes of CBP is to provide nuclear deterrence and assurance to the region.
"Guam is a valuable and strategic location in the region. It's an asset
to the U.S. and its allies in Asia and the Pacific," said Leitnaker.
"Just having our presence there with a nuclear capable aircraft makes
strategic sense for us."
While deployed, the 20th BS will perform many of the same missions already performed on Barksdale but under different command.
"Our mission is to provide that long strike capability to PACOM," said
Lt. Col. Wade Karren, 20th Bomb Squadron director of operations. "The
objective is to deter our adversaries and to assure our allies in the
region, so we provide that stability in that area of responsibility."
Deployments like these not only provide the area of responsibility with
nuclear deterrence but also gives Team Barksdale an opportunity to
develop skills unique to the area.
"The operational side gives aircrew, maintenance and the support
agencies the opportunity to operate in an expeditionary type of
environment," said Karren. "We may not have all of the things that we
have as comforts from home, but we still need to be able to do the
mission; it gives us the flexibility that's really important for air
Continuing rotation of U.S. Air Force bombers to the Asia-Pacific region
has been ongoing since March 2004 as the U.S. adjusted its force
posture to maintain a prudent deterrent capability and with continuous
presence the U.S. validates its commitment to the region.