USAF’s 5th BW takes part in B-52 training mission at RAF Fairford

27 August 2020 (Last Updated August 27th, 2020 12:35)

Airmen from the US Air Force’s (USAF) 5th Bomb Wing have deployed to RAF Fairford in England to take part in B-52 bomber training mission.

USAF’s 5th BW takes part in B-52 training mission at RAF Fairford
Six B-52H Stratofortresses fly in formation enroute to RAF Fairford in Norwegian airspace on 22 August 2020. Credit: 23rd Bomb Squadron.

Airmen from the US Air Force’s (USAF) 5th Bomb Wing have deployed to RAF Fairford in England to take part in B-52 bomber training mission.

The 5th BW will allow the showcase of the capability of the US to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world.

Mission commander captain Tom Heistuman said: “Our mission to assure our theatre allies while deterring enemy aggression is bolstered with creative ways to operate throughout the European airspace and this sortie was a perfect example of how that synchronisation can be accomplished.”

Heistuman added: “Seamless integration, planning and expertise by both B-52 aircrew and Norwegian F-16 pilots allowed the 23rd Bomb Squadron World Famous Bomber Barons to perform the first-ever six-ship diamond formation while integrating with our Nato partners.”

The missions also showcase the capability to join with Nato nations and offer bomber force to boost the stability of the allies and partners.

The presence of B-52 Stratofortress at RAF Fairford will permit the US to preserve a ‘high degree of preparation and proficiency’ for the operations at harsh conditions.

Operated by the 23rd Bomb Squadron, the B-52s are long-range nuclear and traditional heavy bombers that can carry out missions at subsonic speeds.

USAF 23rd Bomb Squadron pilot captain Andrew Dang said: “We operate the B-52s in two and three-ship formations all the time, but flying six B-52’s, 500ft off each other wings, co-altitude, while integrating with our Norwegian allies is by far the best thing I’ve done.

“Looking over your shoulder and seeing your Wingmen tucked in there is so cool.”

Last month, B-52 Stratofortress bomber participated in a maritime integration exercise with the US Navy’s USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike groups (CSGs) in the South China Sea.

In October last year, USAF deployed B-52 Stratofortress aircraft and aircrews to the UK to train with European allies and partners in the region.