Three U.S. B-52 strategic bombers have deployed to the UK

Jun 04 2014 - 11 Comments

Three B-52 Stratofortress bombers have arrived at RAF Fairford, UK, for a mini-deployment lasting two weeks.

On Jun. 4, two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and one from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, B-52 (currently operating from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota) landed at Royal Air Force Fairford, England, for a short deployment.

The aircraft relocated to Europe to conduct training activity “in the U.S. European Command area of operations, providing opportunities for aircrews to sharpen skills in several key operational sets and become familiar with airbases and operations in the region.”

Although the official release does not mention it, a patch produced for the deployment suggests that the B-52s were deployed to take part in the Baltops and Saber Strike 2014 exercises.

Whereas Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2014 is an annual multinational maritime exercise held in the Baltics with assets from 13 participating nations involved in training scenarios that include air, surface, subsurface and mine warfare, Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led security cooperation exercise which, focuses, on the three Baltic States: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

In such exercises as well as in real operations, the B-52s always play an important role: all weather nuclear deterrence aside, the Stratofortress can perform a wide variety of conventional missions ranging from the BAI (Battlefield Area Interdiction) to CAS (Close Air Support), to TASMO (Tactical Air Support to Maritime Operations), to SAR (Search And Rescue)… using GPS and Laser-guided bombs, cruise missiles and aerial mines.

Once there was Pivot to Asia. Nowadays there is a Pivot to the Baltics.

During the deployment to Fairford, lasting about two weeks (and according to rumors involving more B-52s coming from U.S. airbases in the next few days), a Stratofortress will also take part in the 70th anniversary D-Day commemoration in Graignes, France, on Jun. 7.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
  • Shane

    Awesome plane, but gosh they belch a disgusting amount of exhaust.

    • pbug56

      I’m guessing that these engines are quite old; I’d love to see the BUFF’s get modern high performance lower fuel usage engines.

      • Spencerhut

        Yes, that is what we need, environmentally correct bombers.

  • Marco

    Smoky, outdated, slow, high radar cross section.
    Where is the irony that Russian hardware always faces?

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      I was wondering about that..fanboys where are you??

    • CheetahFang258

      Oh I am sorry that you people use TU-95s that still have prop engines.

      • Marco

        It is just a matter of being objective when weighting a weapon system.

    • Greg

      Good point, Marco. It’s another example of, the double standards of the Russia-hating crowd.

    • Callsign Vega

      Oh you mean the B52 that is older than the TU95, yet has much better avionics’s and weapons systems, longer range, faster, better climb performance, higher bomb-load, less crew. Pretty much better in every aspect of being a bomber…

  • Jopie

    U-2’s are spotted at Fairford as well

  • Bullwinkle O. Mooch

    These big bad planes will be gone just in time for Air Tattoo next month. More of just an idol threat by the Ch..p in Charge, Bendover Obama.