by United States Strategic Command Public Affairs
6/5/2015 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- Three
B-52 Stratofortresses assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force
Base, North Dakota, deployed today to Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford,
United Kingdom. The deployment demonstrates the United States' ability
to project its flexible, long-range global strike capability and
provides opportunities to synchronize strategic activities and
capabilities with allies and partners in the U.S. European Command
(USEUCOM) area of operations during the month of June.
During the short-term deployment, the strategic bombers, supported by
more than 330 Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen, are scheduled to
conduct training flights with ground and naval forces around the region
and participate in multinational Exercises BALTOPS 15 and SABER STRIKE
15 over international waters in the Baltic Sea and the territory of the
Baltic states and Poland. The bombers will integrate into several
exercise activities, including air intercept training, simulated mining
operations during SABER STRIKE, inert ordnance drops during BALTOPS, and
close air support. Each activity provides unique opportunities for
bomber crews to integrate and train with other USEUCOM components and
regional allies and partners while exercising the U.S.'s key bomber
"This deployment to RAF Fairford was specifically designed and closely
coordinated with the United Kingdom and our regional Allies to ensure
maximum opportunities to synchronize and integrate our bomber
capabilities with their military assets," said U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D.
Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander. "Participation of B-52s in
Exercises BALTOPS and SABER STRIKE demonstrates our nation's steadfast
commitment to promoting regional stability and security, fostering
cooperation and increasing interoperability as we work alongside our
allies toward mutual goals."
The deployment demonstrates the long-standing relationship between the
U.S. and U.K. Elevating RAF Fairford to active status is a key component
to this deployment due to the critical capabilities of the base. The
fully-developed and tested infrastructure and support facilities at the
airfield, as well as its strategic location and unique capabilities,
establish the base as a key location for large-scale exercises and
readiness operations and an ideal site for bomber operations.
RAF Fairford has a long history of bomber operations, serving the
contingency requirements of the U.S. and Royal Air Forces and their NATO
partners since it first opened in 1944. Most recently, RAF Fairford
served as a forward operating base for deployed B-52s and B-2s in June
2014. Both platforms conducted training evolutions in and around the
U.K. during this time and B-52s participated in the 70th anniversary of
D-Day commemoration events.
USSTRATCOM's bomber force regularly conducts combined training and
theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners. B-52
participation in Exercises BALTOPS and SABER STRIKE follows several
global missions during the past year to enhance interoperability.
Two B-52s participated alongside Jordanian forces in U.S. Central
Command's (USCENTCOM's) Exercise EAGER LION 2015 in May. The mission
consisted of a nonstop 30-plus hour sortie from the continental U.S. to
the USCENTCOM area of operations.
In April, four B-52s flew round-trip flights to the Arctic and North Sea
regions. The training mission, POLAR GROWL, enabled bomber crews to
conduct air intercept training with fighter aircraft from the U.K.,
Canada and the Netherlands.
B-52s also participated in NATO Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION in October
2014, during which the bombers assisted in the exercise's focus of
validating the Spanish Maritime Force as the 2015 Maritime NATO Response
USSTRATCOM is one of nine DoD unified combatant commands and is charged
with strategic deterrence; space operations; cyberspace operations;
joint electronic warfare; global strike; missile defense; intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance; combating weapons of mass destruction;
and analysis and targeting.