Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
9/22/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- A
2nd Bomb Wing B-52 Stratofortress aircrew conducted a long-range bomber
mission from the United States to the U.S. European Command area of
operations Sept. 17-18, where they participated in Exercise Immediate
During the nonstop sortie, which lasted approximately 30 hours, the
aircrew flew from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to Postojna,
Slovenia, where they worked with Slovenian and U.S. Joint Terminal
Attack Controllers (JTAC) at a range near the Slovenian town of Pivka to
provide close air support to allied forces. Additionally, they
conducted a low altitude demonstration for distinguished multinational
visitors and leaders.
"This exercise sends a very specific message to our partners and allies
in the region that the B-52 is prepared to provide immediate combat
power anywhere in the world when called upon," said Capt. Ryan Loucks,
96th Bomb Squadron assistant director of operations, who was part of the
support team that planned and launched the sortie. "Exercise Immediate
Response affords our combat aircrew an outstanding opportunity to train
with our coalition partners and foster multinational integration within
the region. It also allows us to exercise our capability to transit
multiple AORs on a single mission and achieve very precise objectives on
the ground in a very realistic scenario."
Exercise Immediate Response 2015 is a multinational, brigade-level
exercise using computer-assisted simulations and field training
exercises in Croatia and Slovenia. Exercise activities were designed to
enhance regional stability, strengthen partner capacity and improve
interoperability between partner nations. The exercise supports the goal
of a "strong Europe" in that partner nations are trained and ready to
combine forces to ensure unified security across allied nations.
The B-52 mission in support of Immediate Response followed a series of
similar partnership activities in the EUCOM AOR. In June, three
Stratofortresses from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, deployed to
Royal Air Force Fairford, England, where the bombers trained and
integrated with U.S. and allied military forces during Exercises BALTOPS
and Saber Strike. In April, two Barksdale B-52s and two Minot B-52s
performed a nonstop roundtrip mission to the North Sea and Arctic
regions, where aircrews participated in dissimilar air intercept
maneuvers with fighters from the Royal Canadian Air Force, the United
Kingdom's Royal Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
According to Maj. Gen. Richard Clark, 8th Air Force commander and the
U.S. Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command for Global
Strike commander, the participation of B-52 forces in Exercise Immediate
Response 2015 demonstrates the Air Force's ability to integrate with
joint forces while simultaneously supporting the nation's efforts to
build and foster partnerships with its allies.
"Exercises such as Immediate Response provide participating nations with
the ability to plan, prepare and execute joint and combined training in
a real-time, realistic setting," Clark said. "For our aircrews and
support apparatus, these events not only provide an excellent
opportunity to strengthen and improve interoperability, but they allow
our bomber forces to train like we fight and exercise our long-range
strike playbook in a practice scrimmage on the global gridiron."
The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, multi-role bomber capable of
delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. The aircraft can fly
at high subsonic speeds at altitudes up to 50,000 feet.