Two B-52 and two B-2 bombers perform 20-hour long synchronized attack on Hawaii’s training range

Even if global strike missions are routinely conducted “to ensure the U.S. has a credible capability to respond to a variety of levels of threats and to provide the President a variety of options he may need to protect the nation or its allies and partners,” launching two B-52s and two B-2s in a synchronized strike attack training mission does not happen every day.

The U.S. Air Force has recently conducted a long-range mission with two B-52 Stratofortresses from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.

The strategic bombers flew a non-stop for more than 20 hours and covered about 8,000 miles from their home stations to drop ordnance against target located inside Hawaii’s Pohakuloa military weapon range.

According to the Air Force, it was a coordinated range operation which included low approach training that enabled the air force to put their strategic force’s capability to plan, coordinate and execute such a complex mission with “the right mix” of attack platforms.

As said, since most bomber missions are that long; last year round-trip extended deterrence missions were flown over the Korean peninsula following Kim Jong Un’s threats to U.S. and its allies. What make such operation particularly interesting is the fact that it involved different types of bombers providing a means to both fleets to improve coordination capabilities as well as flying skills.

On a side note, the news of the Global Strike mission to the Hawaiian range comes few days after Russia’s announcement to base its Tu-22M Backfire strategic bombers to Crimea.

As reported by Jane’s Defense Weekly a Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman told the Interfax news agency on that it planned to establish a “missile-carrying regiment” on the Crimea near its capital, Simferopol. In a matter of a couple of years the Russian Air Force plans to have a base for a missile-carrying regiment of Tu-22M3 in the Black Sea.

“The need for [the Tu-22M3s] in the southern direction was always there, but now there are just the right conditions for them to return to the Crimea, which used to be called an unsinkable aircraft carrier,” said the spokesman according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.

In other words, a new Cold War is gearing up and Global Strike mission could soon become even more frequent.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Longest commercial leg I routinely flew was 15 to 16 hours SFO to SYD. It wasn’t the flt time that got to me. It was the leaving in the evening!! Early AM departures a piece of cake!

    • That is for crew. For pax it’s great…..Go to sleep wake up bright and early in SYD.

  2. I cant believe those 40 year old B-52 Bomber that dropped bombs on Vietnam can still fly without falling apart . How are we every going to fight a war against a first world nation like Russia or China when most of our Bombers and fighter jets are 25 to 40+ years old .

    • are you on crack? Just to name one new add on the arsenal, the STEALTH fighter F22 Raptor try doing some homework before you go spreading your ignorant anti- American point of views

      • Which has killed a few pilots due to problems with the oxygen system and the F-35 is a piece of expensive junk. We are in for it folks.

      • All approx. 197 cancelled F-22s? BTW Youngest B-52 is over 50 YO. “The youngest aircraft, the last to leave the production line, tail# 61-0040, is now 50 years old, and based at Minot AFB, North Dakota. Of 744 B-52’s built, around 75 ‘H’ models remain in service, with some expected to last until 2040, when they will be an incredible 80 years old”

    • Really…so the cobra and hueys are out dated too? Nevermind they are on their 5th or 6th modernization since first introduced…. the b2/52 of today is not the “same” bomber

    • The B-52 was built tough and to last. In reality should we go to war with either enemy, the B-52 would not be the primary bomb dropper, nor is it meant to be anymore except in situations where we have air superiority. The B-52 though is the primary cruise missile platform for the USAF, which it would fulfill without issue. The B-52 is not going anywhere soon, nor should it. Also keep in mind, the bomber has been upgraded as the years have gone along. Russia’s still flying the Tu-95, which is as old and China’s only bomber is the Badger, which is as old.

    • Those B-52’s still in service are just over 50 years old not 40.

      • Gee, How time flies!! Wonder if ave person even understands the significance of the 52 in B-52??? DOH 62 YEARS!! Boeing BABY!!!! If it Boeing I ain’t GOING!!

    • USAF should have a RULE. Pilots MUST be OLDER than their AC. Can’t envision a bunch of one star Generals flying COMBAT!!!

    • lol the Russian bombers are older. Basically the Russians and Europeans have shifted to a fighter bomber and have stopped development of a dedicated bomber platform. So the United States Air Force has the edge in this.


  4. When i learned to fly, the cessns 172 it ,was 10 yrs old, such a sweetheart to handle, later on i flew a newer one 1984,DAMM a peice of junk, she had a hunk of iron ,as a tail skid ,yep on landing the tail hit the ground first , ever try to land in a heavy crosswind, wanting to get your left main wheel on the ground, and wait for the right wheel to settle on the runway, with the tail draging you all over he runway, while needing to jocky for centerline for the nose wheel?

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