US, NATO aircraft integrate, fly over all 30 NATO nations
U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa
/ Published May 31, 2021
MORÓN AIR BASE, Spain (AFNS) --
For the second time in a Bomber Task Force rotation, U.S. Air Force strategic aircraft will fly a mission over all 30 NATO allied nations in North America and Europe, May 31.
B-52H Stratorortresses currently deployed to Morón Air Base and U.S.-based aircraft are scheduled to fly with more than 20 NATO allies in a single day across the two combatant commands.
Operation Allied Sky demonstrates a shared commitment to NATO solidarity, enhances readiness and provides training opportunities aimed at enhancing interoperability for all participating aircrews from the U.S. and NATO allies. Allied Sky is the latest iteration of routine BTF missions that have occurred in the European theater of operations since 2018, with more than 200 sorties coordinated with allies and partners.
Strategic bombers contribute to stability around the world, as they are intended to deter conflict rather than instigate it. If called upon, U.S. aircraft offer rapid response capabilities at any time and in any theater.
Allied Sky will be conducted in two parts:
- European Leg: B-52s currently deployed to Morón AB will fly over all NATO nations in Europe. During the mission, the bombers will complete aerial refueling and integrate with several ally aircraft.
- North American Leg: The stateside-based aircraft will integrate with aircraft from the U.S. and Canada while flying over both nations.
KC-135 Stratotankers assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom, will support this large-force event. The 100th ARW is the only permanent U.S. Air Force air refueling wing in Europe, extending the reach of U.S. and NATO aircraft in Europe and beyond.
“Bomber missions demonstrate the credibility of our forces to address a global security environment that is more diverse and uncertain than at any other time in our history,” said Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, NATO Allied Air Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander. “Today’s mission is an awesome demonstration of NATO air superiority and together there is no challenge we cannot tackle.”
NATO nations scheduled to participate in the mission and integrate with U.S. aircraft include Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, and the U.K.
Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate U.S. commitment to the collective defense of NATO and contribute to stability in the European theater. The ability to quickly respond and assure allies and partners rests upon the fact that U.S. forces are here, in Europe, forward and ready.
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