Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Aug. 15, 2016

Eighth Air Force Bomber Presence Felt in Indo-Asia Pacific

By Justin Oakes Eighth Air Force Public Affairs

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- The Indo-Asia-Pacific region is no stranger to U.S. bombers. For more than a decade, the U.S. military has maintained a deployed strategic bomber presence in the Pacific, focused on enabling regional security and stability.

To sustain that presence, Eighth Air Force, historically known as “the Mighty Eighth,” provides combatant commanders with the B-1 Lancers, B-2 Spirits, B-52 Stratofortresses and Airmen to support joint and allied partnerships within the region.

When B-2s deployed to Guam earlier this week with B-1 and B-52 units currently operating from Anderson Air Force Base, it marked a historical first for the Service.

“As a result of simultaneous operations, we have all three Mighty Eighth bomber aircraft assigned to the U.S. Pacific area of responsibility at the same time – it’s a first,” said Maj. Gen. Richard M. Clark, 8th Air Force commander.

Though the aircraft have appeared together in past instances in the Pacific AOR, this is the first time all three bombers are there to conduct integrated operations in the region.

The Air Force will maximize on the overlap of strategic bombers by conducting the first integrated bomber operation in the Pacific AOR while all the bombers are in place in Guam.

“This presents a great opportunity,” Clark said. “By integrating every platform within this environment, we will strengthen our interoperability and demonstrate to our allies we have the capability to strike anywhere, anytime using a variety of methods.”

The total bomber force came together via two separate operations, both which provide opportunities to train with regional partners and demonstrate a shared commitment to global security and stability.

The short-term B-2 deployment is part of a U.S. Strategic Command bomber assure and deter mission focused on conducting local sorties, regional training and integrating with partner nations. During the deployment, members of the 509th Bomb Wing will hone skills in areas to include command and control, air refueling, long-rang navigation while directly interacting with allied military forces.

“There’s no substitute for operating in theater,” said Lt. Col. Charles Bailey, 8th Air Force deputy director for Plans. “Deployments like the ones to Guam focus unit training while allowing us to interact with our allies and partners right there in the Pacific region.”

The B-2 is known for its low-observable or “stealth” characteristics and ability to penetrate highly sophisticated defenses while avoiding adversary detection. The aircraft is also able to fly at subsonic speeds, possesses a 7,000-mile unrefueled range and can reach an elevation of 50,000 feet.

The B-2 BAAD mission comes at a time when the Air Force is conducting a Continuous Bomber Presence swap out in the Pacific.

Approximately 300 Airmen along with B-1s from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, are replacing B-52s and their support personnel from Minot AFB, North Dakota, who currently support U.S. Pacific Command strategic deterrence and regional training missions.

This is the first time in a decade B-1s will be based in the PACOM AOR, however both aircraft have a long historical role in the CBP missions and embody similar capabilities.

Lancers, also known as “Bones,” are multi-role heavy bombers able to deliver long-range strikes, offer persistent presence and can carry up to 75,000 pounds of payload. And much like the B-52, it’s not new to the battlefield.

“The B-1 force is coming back to the Pacific, bringing years of combat experience from Iraq and Afghanistan with them,” Bailey said.

For the time being, examples of every strategic bomber will be seen operating from the same location within PACOM’s AOR.

But regardless of platform, “the Mighty Eighth will continue to provide combatant commanders the necessary tools to assure our allies, deter our adversaries and enhance regional security within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” Clark said.

Like Us
Follow Us



7th Fleet Destroyer Conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation in South China Sea
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) conducts routine underway operations. Benfold is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Jan. 20, 2022 - SOUTH CHINA SEA -- On Jan. 20, USS Benfold (DDG 65) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law. At the conclusion of the operation, USS Benfold exited...

Coast Guard Cutters begin Operation Aiga in Oceania
The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126) on patrol off the coast of Waikiki, July 4, 2018. The Joseph Gerczak's crew participated in an operation to keep swimmers and boaters safe during a Fourth of July celebration on the waters off Waikiki.
Jan. 20, 2022 - HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Juniper (WLB 201) and Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126) will aim to extend the Coast Guard’s at-sea enforcement presence in the region through a 40-day patrol.“Aiga,” the Samoan...

NMCB-5 Concludes Indo-Pacific Deployment, NMCB-3 Assumes Authority of Naval Construction Force Tasking in the Indo-Pacific
Command Master Chief Martin Laurie (left), Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5, hands the battalion flag to Utilitiesman 1st Class Sabino Martinez during a relief in place/transfer of authority (RIP/TOA) ceremony onboard Camp Shields in Okinawa, Jan. 18. This RIP/TOA marked the official completion of NMCB-5's deployment in the region. NMCB-5 is homeported in Port Hueneme, California. The Seabees will train on high-quality construction, expeditionary logistics, and combat operations during the homeport phase. They execute construction and engineering projects to support Major Combat Operations, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance
Jan. 20, 2022 - OKINAWA, Japan -- U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 transferred authority of Naval Construction Force tasking in the Indo-Pacific region to NMCB-3 during a relief in place/transfer of authority (RIP/TOA)...

Simplified Human/Machine Interfaces Top List of Critical DOD Technologies
An announcement was made by the Department of Defense June 3 that will bring enormous advantages, as well as responsibilities, to San Antonio and the region. Joint Base San Antonio is one of 12 select installations where the department will experiment and test fifth-generation, or 5G, communications technology.
Jan. 20, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- A modern-day cell phone packs quite a wallop when it comes to computing technology and capability. But most cell phones barely come with a "quick start guide," let alone an instruction manual that spells out how...

Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2 Completes the Inaugural Multinational Underwater Repair Exercise with the Republic of Korea Navy UCT
Divers from the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) Underwater Construction Team (UCT) and the U.S. Navy’s Underwater Construction Team TWO (UCT-2) perform underwater exothermic cutting during the Multinational Underwater Repair Exercise (MUREX) 2021 in Apra Harbor, Guam, Dec. 21, 2021. This is the first-ever MUREX, an exercise designed to develop interoperability in underwater construction operations, build diving expertise, and foster comradery between the ROKN UCT and the U.S. Navy’s UCT-2 and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit ONE (MDSU-1).
Jan. 20, 2022 - APRA HARBOR, Guam -- Divers from the U.S. Navy’s (USN) Underwater Construction Team TWO (UCT 2 ) Construction Diving Detachment ALFA (CDD/A), Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit ONE (MDSU-1), and the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN)...