NEWS | June 21, 2021

Bombers complete mission through Arctic, Pacific regions

By Senior Airman Daniel Hernandez Bomber Task Force Europe

U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircraft from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, completed long-range mission through the Arctic and Pacific regions June 17-18, 2021.

The strategic bombers were operating out of Morón Air Base, Spain, in support of the latest Bomber Task Force deployment. The cross-combatant command mission included integration with Norwegian joint terminal attack controller personnel in the Nordic region before the aircraft flew through the Arctic Circle and into the northern Pacific in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The mission concluded with the bombers returning to their home station at Barksdale AFB.

The Artic is a strategic region of growing geopolitical and global importance. The two theaters and the regional allies and partners actively incorporate long-range strategic bomber missions to highlight the U.S. Air Force’s unique ability to respond to any potential crisis or counter any threat, any time. These operations are in line with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability utilizing a persistent bomber presence to assure allies and partners.

“Our unparalleled global strike capability is the backbone of our combat-credible force,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander. “That force is the foundation of our extended deterrence strategy that safeguards both U.S. security and that of our allies and partners.”

Aerial refueling capabilities critically support cross-combatant command and long-range operations. Tanker aircraft from three different major commands refueled the strategic bombers during the 27-hour, approximately 12,000 mile mission.

The refueling mission included tanker aircraft from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, the 92nd ARW, Fairchild AFB, Washington, the 36th Wing, Andersen AFB, Guam, the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Wing, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and the 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, California.

Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate U.S. dedication to the collective defense and commitment to allies and regional partners across the globe. The missions directly contribute to the stability in the European and Indo-Pacific theaters. The ability to quickly respond and assure allies and partners rests upon the fact that forces are committed, forward and ready.

Coverage of this deployment is available on this website and on the DVIDS hub at: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/bombertaskforceeurope.