Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:37 am Post subject: USAF RAF Fairford - major nuclear bomb target
|Why are Stealth bombers flying over Gloucestershire?
The B-2s are the latest US military planes seen in the county's airspace
BY PHIL NORRIS
07:56, 14 JUN 2017UPDATED11:40, 14 JUN 2017
Stealth bombers have flown into RAF Fairford – thrilling aviation fans.
The B-2s were deployed to Gloucestershire on June 9 and are named Spirit of New York and Spirit of Missouri.
They flew from their base at Whiteman AFB in Missouri to join other US plans in the county for a major military exercise, BALTOPS.
Among those thrilled to see them are officers from Gloucestershire police, who took an evocative picture of the bomber flying overhead.
The two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers joined B-1B Lancers and B-52H Stratofortresses to participate in what the US Air Force describes as “theater bomber assurance and deterrence operations.”
This picture shows a B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress are parked on the ramp at Royal Air Force Fairford.
This marks the first time in history that all three of Air Force Global Strike Command’s strategic bomber aircraft are simultaneously in the European Theatre, demonstrating the flexible global strike capability.
Three B-52Hs from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and three B-1Bs from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota along with approximately 800 Airmen, are currently supporting exercises Saber Strike and BALTOPS in the U.S. European Theater.
U.S. Air Force Col. Jared Kennish, 322nd Air Expeditionary Group commander said: "The bomber assurance and deterrence missions these three aircraft are supporting are key to reinforcing our commitment to our allies in NATO -- in a very visible, very tangible way -- that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them, no matter what," said
U.S. Strategic Command routinely conducts bomber operations across the globe as a demonstration of commitment to collective defenc and to integrate with geographic combatant commands operations and activities.
This is the first time that all three bombers have been located together in the European theater, and only the second time total in AFGSC command history; the first was in Guam in August 2016.
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