U.S. B-1 Lancer Bombers Escorted By F-15 Jets Fly East Of North Korea, North Of The DMZ: Four Reasons Why This Time It Is Interesting.

Sep 23 2017 - 22 Comments

This is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century.

On Sept. 23, hours after the latest threats from Kim Jong Un who said that Pyongyang will soon test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam, along with U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea.

This time, the show of force is a bit more interesting than usual, for four reasons:

1) it is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century;

2) unlike all the previous ones, the latest sortie was flown at night, hence it was not a show of force staged to take some cool photographs;

3) no allied aircraft is known to have taken part in the mission at the time of writing, whereas most of the previous B-1 missions near the Korean Peninsula involved also ROKAF (Republic Of Korea Air Force) and/or JASDF (Japan’s Air Self Defense Force) jets;

4) it was a U.S. Air Force job: no U.S. Marine Corps F-35B stealth jet took part in the show of force this time, even though the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter has taken part in all the most recent formations sent over Korea to flex muscles against Pyongyang. The photo here below shows the “package” assembled for Sept. 14’s show of force.

Munitions from a U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) bilateral mission explode at the Pilsung Range, South Korea, Sept 17, 2017. The U.S. and ROKAF aircraft flew across the Korean Peninsula and practiced attack capabilities by releasing live weapons at the training area before returning to their respective home stations. This mission was conducted in direct response to North Korea’s intermediate range ballistic missile launch, which flew directly over northern Japan on September 14 amid rising tension over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development programs. (U.S. Army photo by SSgt. Steven Schneider)

According to the U.S. Pacific Command, today’s mission is” a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat. North Korea’s weapons program is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community. We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies.”

Top image shows a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker Sep. 23, 2017. This mission was flown as part of the continuing demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to the defense of its homeland and in support of its allies and partners. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger)


  • Ilya Kurenkov

    While Kim-junior launches ballistic missiles and carries out nuclear trials, US planes keep flying in the South Korea Airspace – for what?
    North Korea is obviously winning this show.

    • Richard Hensley


      • Ilya Kurenkov


  • leroy

    It was mighty dark everywhere the aircrews flying East of North Korea looked:


  • BehindEL

    Things are getting serious.

  • Watch n Wait

    5th reason) Mission date coincides with “zero depth” earthquake near NK nuclear test site; i.e. A surface disturbance large enough to register on seismographs in Japan and SK.
    6) Iran tests long range missile on the same day
    7) POTUS declares Iran working with NK on the same day

  • really?

    Once again, yet again, your outlook is so blinded by flag waving its practically a text book example of what not to think.

    You completely ignore China in the equation, and China is most certainly not NK.

    What happened the last time NK was on its knees? Hello? Leroy? Hellooooo…???

    Just stop, its heartbreaking to see someone so convinced, yet so sadly clueless.

    • sferrin

      China won’t do anything.

  • sferrin

    No it isn’t.

  • leroy


    • One Man


  • leroy

    F-35 is combat ready and would be used in any attack. Then the critics will finally be forced to shut up and others will rightly conclude that the aircraft became IOC just in the nick of time.

    Lots of U.S., NATO planes and pilots trained and ready to fly any attack missions. Even Japanese. And Australia too. Canberra, Sydney will be on the DPRK target list once they build enough ICBMs and sufficient warheads. That you can count on. The fool Aussie critics who were absolutely 100% wrong about this aircraft will have even more egg on their faces. Life and death egg! They really tried to weaken their nation’s defenses. Despicable stupidity.

  • leroy

    Good news in from Rocket Man’s suicidal regime:

    “North Korea’s foreign minister on Monday accused President Donald Trump of declaring war, saying that gives the rogue regime the right to take countermeasures.

    That includes the right to shoot down strategic U.S. bombers, even when they are not flying in North Korean airspace, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York.”


    Perfect. Just the excuse we need. I hope they do try to shoot down a U.S. aircraft. Then we can take kinetic action against the DPRK. Kinetic action that was needed yesterday!

    North Korea will be obliterated. Yes, Kim must go. Both Washington and Beijing’s interests are aligned here. No nukes on the Korean Peninsula. They have to be taken away from Little Rocket Man before it’s too late.

  • ”Fail-35 Slowpoke is combat ready”
    Yet , far behind F-15s and B-1s…..in the shelter.
    Thats true ”Stealth” , boyz !

  • WpnsLoader175

    This was a simulated strike mission. Look for more of these to happen with various aircraft. The Eagles were likely armed with live weapons which they didn’t want in pictures. The previous “Shows of Force” are ‘reassurance’ missions and to practice the skills of long range operations and coordinating all the moving parts. The night mission was using all those skills and practicing tactical skills by simulating a strike on NK. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did a intercept attempt (pushed towards NK airspace to see if and when they got picked up).

  • Pepe Le Cox

    Look kid, what looks is NK launch their 160kt hydrogen bomb on Seoul


    Now the worst part, suppose that US retaliates over Pyongyang with a similar bomb with the winds to west or northwest and exploding on surface


    Do you see where it goes? now think is not only one, but several bombs. Time to grow mate, the war is not the solution.

    • leroy

      First, have you ever even been there? I’ve flown into Osan and Kunsan, worked some ops there. I’ve been involved with RIMPAC and worked with Japanese and South Korean forces aboard a couple of CVNs. I also have an understanding for how any attack would proceed. Now …

      Have you any understanding for the capabilities of THAAD? Do you think the U.S. might launch a nuclear attack if they see Kim preparing to launch one first? You may not be fortunate enough to be an American, but any nuclear attack would affect the entire world. Many millions would die. How many hydrogen bombs atop ICBMs will the acknowledged mass-murderer Kim have in 10 years? 200? 300? A kid like you may wish to wait that long before you consider a preemptive attack, but I hope that the President of the United States does not.

      • Pepe Le Cox

        So your answer is, any country in the world who dare to build an A-bomb should face the full enforcement of the law by .. the universal police! the Judge Dredd of our times, the one and only ….. AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, who applies laws outside his borders that are forbbiden inside! :D what american arrogance, that should not be the role of the United Nations and the Security Council?

  • Wharton Laelande

    Such actions could spook NK into action, that the US and its allies would regret later. It’s a game China is playing, and the various players have bought into this Realpolitik. The bait is too tempting, ain’t it you Yankees… SK and Japan would pay a hefty price for this misadventure by US; and the latter is untouchable in real terms, while the others are at breathing distance from NK: do you see it! It’s a China vs. US game, and the pawns are getting played here…

  • Sotirios Bakaimis

    oh come on!!! American foreign policy is the same in both administrations…

  • Pepe Le Cox

    Like the US did in Irak? and Lybia? yeah they are saying: thanks AMERICA …. in your dreams

  • DoctorSteve

    Yes, I have a question. What does relative size have to do with anything?

  • DoctorSteve

    Yes, I have a question. What does relative size have to do with anything?