The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed three B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers to the US European Command (USEUCOM) area of operations (AOs) to train and integrate with the national and allied military forces in the region.
During the two-week deployment, the multi-role bombers are expected to conduct training flights from Royal Air Force Fairford, UK, providing opportunities for aircrews to sharpen skills in several key operational sets and familiarise with airbases and operations in the region.
US Strategic Command commander admiral Cecil Haney said the deployment offers an opportunity to strengthen and enhance interoperability with allies and partners.
"The training and integration of strategic forces demonstrates to our nation’s leaders and our allies that we have the right mix of aircraft and expertise to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations," Haney said.
Two of the deployed B-52 bombers are assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, while the third is assigned to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, US.
The deployment comes a day after US President Barack Obama urged Congress to approve a $1bn fund to boost US military presence in Europe in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) routinely conducts training missions in support of geographic combatant commands to ensure the country has a credible and flexible capability to respond to a range of potential threats.
In addition to this, the bomber operations are claimed to enhance the capability by providing a variety of options sought by the president to protect the country or its allies and partners.
Manufactured by Boeing, the B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, strategic bomber designed to carry and fire both nuclear and conventional munitions for deterrence missions.
Image: Two B-52H Stratofortress bombers depart Barksdale Air Force Base for deployment to the USEUCOM area of operations. Photo: courtesy of USAF Staff Sgt. Jason McCasland.