ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, United Kingdom (AFNS) --
B-52 Stratofortress aircraft, support equipment and personnel from the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota arrived at Royal Air Force Fairford, Feb. 10 to execute the long-planned Bomber Task Force mission, a regularly-scheduled U.S. European Command and U.S. Strategic Command joint mission series.
En route to RAF Fairford, U.S. bomber aircraft integrated with British Typhoon aircraft and Portuguese F-16s currently assigned to NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission. Bomber aircraft also integrated with British Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) to conduct bilateral close air support training. The mission focused on enhancing readiness and interoperability for the controllers responsible for coordinating airstrikes to support ground forces.
Regularly integrating with allies improves cooperation and operational capacity, capability and interoperability. Occurring since 2018, bomber rotations through Europe maintain readiness to execute a wide variety of missions across two continents, sustaining peace through deterrence.
“With an ever-changing global security environment, it’s critical that our efforts with our allies and partners are unified,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa commander. “We’re in Europe training and collaborating together, because consistent integration is how we strengthen our collective airpower.”
Through their rotation, the bombers will operate from RAF Fairford to continue to integrate with partners and allies.
Bomber rotations reinforce the U.S. commitment to NATO allies and coalition partners to maintain collective safety and sovereignty.
Coverage of the BTF deployment will be continuously available on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service website.