Three B-52s have deployed to Europe to take part in large-scale NATO exercise

A B-52 Stratofortress arriving at Morón Air Base, Spain, deploys a drogue parachute to slow itself after landing, Feb. 27, 2016. Three B-52s from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., will be temporarily reassigned to the 2nd Expeditionary Bomb Group for the duration of a large-scale NATO military exercise in which they will participate. The Norwegian-led Cold Response 16 will involve approximately 16,000 troops from a dozen allied and partner nations and last nearly two weeks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Raatz)

Three “Buffs” have arrived to Moron Air Base, Spain, for Ex. Cold Response.

Three B-52 Stratofortresses from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, landed at Moron Air Base, Spain, on Feb. 27, to take part in a large-scale NATO training exercise “Cold Response.”

Held in the central Trøndelag region of Norway, the biennial Cold Response drills will be attended by a dozen NATO nations and approximately 16,000 military. The exercise includes a complete war scenario, featuring air, ground and maritime operations.

The U.S. Air Force strategic bombers will operate as part of the 2nd Expeditionary Bomb Group and will conduct multiple sorties and air strikes.

The B-52s will probably simulate anti-ship missions as done in June last year by two Strafortress bombers deployed to RAF Fairford, UK, that deployed inert MK-62 Quick Strike Mines with MK-15 tail fins to stop a (simulated) naval invasion of Sweden during Baltops exercise.

“We appreciate the opportunity to take part in such a large multinational exercise at the invitation of our Norwegian allies, and we are especially thankful for the opportunity to test our skills in such unique cold weather conditions,” said Lt. Col. Dennis Cummings, the 2nd Expeditionary Bomb Group commander in a public release. “The ability to train bomber aircrews in different geographic combatant commands is essential to maintaining a strong, credible bomber force that enhances the security and stability of our allies and partners.”

“Bomber participation in joint military exercises like this one are an expression of the U.S. commitment to supporting our allies and partners, demonstrating our shared dedication to promoting global security and stability,” said Maj. Matt Spinelli, the 2nd EBG assistant director of operations.

Along with the B-52s, KC-135 Stratotankers and F-16 Fighting Falcons will be part of the American air team deployed for Cold Response 16. The whole contingent will also be supported by a number of C-130 Hercules and C-17 airlifters.

Cold Response 16 is scheduled to run through March 9.

B-52 landing Moron 2

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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.