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November 19, 2015

US plans to rotate military aircraft through Australia

The US is planning to rotate its fighter planes through the Royal Australian Air Force Tindal, like it has been doing in Guam.

By Prasanth Katam

B52

The US is planning to rotate its fighter planes through the Royal Australian Air Force Tindal, like it has been doing in Guam.

The country is in talks with Australia, but a decision is yet to be made on the type of aircraft to be rotating.

The US Air Force conducts flights and rotations at Guam with B-52, B-1 and B-2 bombers.

Pacific air forces commander Gen. Lori Robinson said: "The idea is, much like we do in Guam, a rotation of tankers and bombers to do training and working with our Australian allies as well as training our pilots and aircrew what it’s like in the region, to understand the vastness of that region.

"We’ve had conversations, agreed to a force posture initiative.

"We’re in the process of deciding on timing of when that will happen, so final timing hasn’t happened as we are working our way through all of that."

The discussions come at a time when China has been opposing the presence of the US in the South China Sea.

"The idea is a rotation of tankers and bombers to do training and working with our Australian allies."

Robinson, however, said that the US and China have agreed to follow the standard protocols for intercepts in international airspace.

While the USAF has not flown any aircraft over the islands, a US Navy ship recently reached within twelve nautical miles of the artificial islands.

Robinson denied that a B-52 bomber flew within twelve nautical miles of artificial islands.

Referring to a conversation with the Chinese air traffic control, she said that it was a routine that happens not just in the South China Sea, but in other places.


Image: A B-52 Stratofortress takes off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Photo: Public Domain.

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