The US Air Force’s (USAF) B-52 Stratofortress long-range heavy bomber aircraft has officially started the routine Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission 23-2 in Europe.

This was announced by the Nato Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) on 27 February.

The deployed bomber aircraft belong to the 5th Bomb Wing from Minot Air Force Base (AFB) in North Dakota, US.

The start of the scheduled mission was marked by a low-approach flyby performed by two of the deployed B-52 aircraft over Tallinn to commemorate Estonia’s Independence Day.

The two nations are Nato allies and work in close coordination to safeguard the Baltic States and Europe’s eastern flank.

USAF Europe-Air Forces Africa and Nato Allied Air Command commander USAF general James Hecker said: “The US and Estonia are close allies and share a strong partnership based on a common commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

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“We remain steadfastly committed to the freedom and sovereignty of Estonia and all our Baltic allies as we deter and defend against any threats to our shared security.”

As part of the new BTF mission, the USAF’s B-52 Stratofortress bombers will operate with different allied and partner nations’ forces and fighter jets to bolster their interoperability and cohesion with the allied forces.

Deployed bombers will be based at Moron Air Force Base in Spain.

The deployment of B-52 planes in Europe will also further strengthen the trans-Atlantic bond between the US and European allies.

The USAF’s BTF missions aim to reinforce the country’s National Defense Strategy objectives to demonstrate collective defence capabilities across the globe.

This routine operation allows the deployed forces to maintain operational readiness and efficiency while validating the USAF’s ‘always-ready’ global strike ability.