Eager Lion 2016 opened by two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers.
On May 24, two B-52 Stratofortress bombers from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, conducted a 35-hour, 14,000-mile round-trip mission to Jordan, to perform a show of force alongside the partner Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) in Exercise Eager Lion 2016.
As happened last year, during the nonstop mission (that included four aerial refueling operations) the B-52s conducted air intercept training with Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16s and executed a live conventional weapons demonstration directed jointly by JAF and U.S. JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers).
“Executing these global bomber training missions supports successful integration into geographic combatant command and multinational operations, such as the current B-52 deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander in a release. Indeed, the B-52s are currently deployed to the CENTCOM area or responsibility taking part in the air war against Daesh from Al Udeid airbase, in Qatar.
USSTRATCOM’s bomber force regularly conducts theater security operations with allies and partners, demonstrating the U.S. capability to launch and manage global strike missions anywhere.
The Buff’s participation in Eager Lion 2016 follows the deployment of B-52s to Morón Air Base, Spain, in February and March, to take part in Norwegian Exercise Cold Response and French Exercise Serpentex, as well as the deployment of B-2 Spirits to the Indo-Asia-Pacific in March.
Additionally, in April a B-52 flew a sortie to France to integrate with the French Air Force, and a B-52 also flew to South America to train with the Colombian air force.
Exercise “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.
Eager Lion 16 marks the second consecutive year of the integration of +50 years old heavy bomber into the exercise.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force