Military News

Monday, March 09, 2015

2nd Bomb Wing support of Continuous Bomber Presence extends with unit swap-out

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 them."

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 power."

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.

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