US Air Force’s (USAF) 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.

The bomber took off from the 96th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb WingBarksdale Air Force Base (AFB), Louisiana.

Once the 28-hour mission was completed, the B-52 bomber landed at Andersen AFB, Guam.

Used by US Strategic Command, the exercise was part of a bomber task force dynamic force employment.

It trains and supports Geographic Combatant Commands efforts, maintaining global stability and security.

96th Bomb Squadron commander Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Duff said: “Bomber Task Force demonstrates US capability to rapidly deploy to a forward operating base and execute long-range strike missions.

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“This sortie demonstrates our ability to reach out from the home station, fly anywhere in the world and execute those missions, rapidly regenerate from a forward-operating base and continue operations.”

During the mission, the B-52 aircrew tested and assessed command and control capabilities.

Ensuring joint interoperability, the assessment was aimed at informing the development of contested and degraded communication tactics, techniques and procedures.

US Navy Task Force 70 Air Operations officer commander Joshua Fagan said: “As we operate throughout the Indo-Pacific theatre, our fleet units continue to seek out every opportunity to strengthen our capabilities and proficiency at conducting joint, combined, all-domain operations with our partner teams.

“Some of the recent events bringing Air Force B-52s and B-1s, navy aircraft, and our ships at sea together on shared networks in support of integrated missions have been good opportunities for us to exercise the joint mission planning and coordination processes that we depend on to operate safely and effectively out here.”