Stunning pics of a B-52 strategic bomber doing some heavy carpet bombing in Jordan

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress drops Guided Bomb Unit-38's during a combined live fire demonstration during Exercise Eager Lion in Wadi Shadiya, Jordan, May 18, 2015. Eager Lion is a recurring, multinational exercise designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase interoperability between partner nations, and enhance regional security and stability. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sean Searfus CE MARFOR CENTCOM FWD COMCAM/ Released)

B-52 Stratofortress bomber doing what it does best.

The photographs in this post were taken during a combined live fire demonstration in Wadi Shadiya, Jordan, May 18.

They show a B-52H from 2nd Bomb Wing, from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, drop some 500-lb GBU-38 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) bombs during the “monumental military demonstration” that was the final event of Exercise “Eager Lion” a recurring multinational exercise designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase interoperability between partner nations, and enhance regional security and stability.

Noteworthy, the two B-52 Stratofortress bombers that marked the first participation of strategic bombers to Eager Lion, performed a 30-plus hour, 14,000 mile nonstop mission to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.

Buff carpet bombing

They coordinated the attack with Jordanian JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) and, after the attack run, overflew the range escorted by two Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16s.

In addition to 5,000 U.S. servicemen, the two-week yearly exercise saw the participation of Jordanian forces as well as contingents from 16 other countries for a total force of about 10,000 troops.

The exercise was held among five sites across Jordan and based on the scenario of a friendly contingent committed to the aid of an allied nation under threat by an aggressive neighbor. Along with the U.S. Air Force strategic bombers, Jordanian tactical planes and U.S. Army helicopters of the 185th Theater Aviation Brigade’s aviation task force, EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) teams, Seabees and patrol craft were used to perform port security in Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city, while a Marine crisis-response force out of Kuwait took part in the drills, practicing non-combatant evacuation operation (NCO) by means of MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft in the north.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps


About David Cenciotti 4453 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.


  1. it is quite impressive that these big monster bombers still fly today, but against 1st and 2nd rate airforces they require protection and still will get shot down (100 m² RCS). Bulit from 1952 to 1962, the airframes are older than their pilots. The B-52 completed fifty years of continuous service with its original
    operator in 2005; after being upgraded between 2013 and 2015, it is
    expected to serve into the 2040s. About 60 B-52 are still operational. The Long Range Strike Bomber program is expected to yield a stealthy B-52 and B-1 successor that would begin service in the 2020s.

  2. Note that, if these were real JDAMs, they did not demonstrate their really interesting capability, which is precision off-track delivery. I.e., they’re not only precisionized gravity bombs, they’re precision glide bombs with an ability to steer toward targets well off the initial drop track.

  3. Second pic is interesting, with the detonation shockwave visible just below the string of bombs. Normally you see it only in humid air when the water vapor condensation makes it visible.

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