Three U.S. B-52s deploying to the UK to take part in European drills

Three “Buffs” on the move to take part in three exercises in the U.S. EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility.

Three B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers are scheduled to deploy  from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, to RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, on Jun. 2.

The aircraft are on the move to participate in U.S. European Command (EUCOM)’s Exercises Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 16 and SaberStrike 16, and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)’s Just Hammer.

This deployment marks the third year in a row that strategic bombers have deployed to RAF Fairford and trained with U.S. and allied military forces during exercises across Europe. B-52s from Barksdale AFB deployed to Morón Air Base, Spain, in February and March, to take part in Norwegian Exercise Cold Response and French Exercise Serpentex.

More recently, two Buffs opened Ex. Eager Lion 2016 (performing a simulated air strike during a 35-hour round trip mission from CONUS).

Last year the B-52s took part in BALTOPS 2015 during which they simulated massive naval mine drop outside Sweden.

“Integrating strategic bombers with multi-national operations in a variety of scenarios enhances the readiness and capability of U.S. and #NATO military forces, which is vital to global security,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, United States Strategic Command commander said in an AFGSC (Air Force Global Strike Command) release. “Ensuring we can operate from strategic forward locations like RAF Fairford is integral to our collective defense capabilities and a more timely and coordinated response during crises.”

Six B-52s are currently deployed to Al Udeid airbase, in Qatar from where they operate in support of Operation Inherent Resolve taking part in the air war against Daesh.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

About David Cenciotti 3888 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.