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NEWS | Feb. 2, 2024

Bombers abound: North Dakota-based B-52s arrive in Pacific, provide strategic deterrence

By Capt. Stephen J. Collier, Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

B-52 Stratofortress bombers assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, landed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam at the end of January as part of a Bomber Task Force to support strategic deterrence missions aimed at reinforcing the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.

While forward deployed to Guam, B-52 operations and support personnel are designated to the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron. The 23rd EBS will integrate alongside Allies and partners to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to security and stability throughout the region.

Designed to showcase the U.S.’s ability to deter, deny and dominate, BTF missions aim to influence and dissuade aggression from adversaries or competitors.

Reacting to the arrival of the aircraft, Capt. Zachary “Smash” Holmes, 23rd EBS weapons officer, said it was great to “finally have some iron on the ground.”

“It’s great to finally receive our crews so we’re ready to go out and take part in the mission as well as get our maintenance personnel ready to support where they’re needed,” Holmes said. “We’re ready to go.”

Aircrews and support personnel look for every opportunity to train alongside our allies and partners to build interoperability and bolster our collective ability to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.