USAF B-52 to join ISIS-combat mission in Qatar
The US Air Force (USAF) has a deployed B-52 Stratofortress based in Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to Qatar, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
USAF Central Command and Combined Forces Air Component commander lieutenant general Charles Q. Brown Junior said: "The B-52 will provide the coalition continued precision and deliver desired airpower effects.
"As a multi-role platform, the B-52 offers diverse capabilities including delivery of precision weapons and the flexibility and endurance needed to support the combatant commanders' priorities and strengthen the coalition team.
"The B-52 demonstrates our continued resolve to apply persistent pressure on ISIL and defend the region in any future contingency."
Marking a first in 26 years, the B-52 will be based in the US Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility.
Previously, the B-52s were based in Saudi Arabia to support Operation Desert Storm.
Last flown operationally during Operation Enduring Freedom in May 2006, the aircraft also participated in Exercise Eager Lion, a USCENTCOM-led multilateral exercise in Jordan, in May 2015.
The B-52 bomber is a long-range, subsonic, strategic bomber designed to carry and fire both nuclear and conventional munitions for deterrence missions.
The aircraft entered service with the USAF in 1955, and is also operated by the US Navy for anti-surface and submarine warfare operations.
Image: A B-52 Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base touches down at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Tech. Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb.