Mighty 71-72, 81-82, 83-84: the six “Buffs” deploying to the Middle East for the first time in 30 years.
Six B-52s are going to support Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIL in Syria and Iraq, replacing the B-1s, that have returned stateside for upgrades.
On Apr. 8, Mighty 71 and 72 were the first pair, followed on Apr. 11 by Mighty 81-82 and on Apr. 12 by Mighty 83-84. On Apr. 10, Mighty 75-76 were forced to cancel their transatlantic flight because of a tech issue of one of the supporting KC-10s.
Users of the Fighter Control forum have posted several inflight reports the aircraft radioed on HF frequencies during the flights: these included waypoints along the route that helped trace their route towards the Mediterranean Sea (H/T @planesonthenet for the map) and then, most probably (based on what happened in the past), via Egypt, Saudi Arabia.
Here are some position reports (via FC and POTN):
“MIGHTY 71 wkg Santa Maria on 8906. 4153N20W 2046 FL270-280, estimate 3920N16W 211”
“MIGHTY 81 wkg Gander on 8864 with posrep. 4815N45W 1820Z FL270-280, estimate 4815N40W 1846, 4745N35W next.”
“MIGHTY 83 flight started across Atlantic Course plot 4740N50W, 4810N45W 4815N40W 4745N35W 4535N26W 42N20W KOMUT BEXEL FL270-280”
Noteworthy, the Mighty flights used block levels FL270-280.