A US Air Force Bomber Task Force deployment of B-52H Stratofortress aircraft, airmen and support equipment from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, have arrived in the US European Command area of operations for a deployment to conduct theatre integration and flying training. The aircraft are operating from the UK, where they arrived over a three-day period at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire.
The first three aircraft arrived on March 14, the first of which, 61-0013 ‘LA’ (callsign ‘Stray 83’), landed at 1016hrs. The other two flew over into Europe after initially arriving in UK airspace before returning that afternoon to land at Fairford, where 60-0024 ‘LA’ (‘Stray 81’) arrived at 1335hrs, followed by 60-0025 ‘LA’ (‘Stray 82’) at 1341hrs. All three were from the 2nd BW’s 20th Bomb Squadron ‘Buccaneers’.
A single aircraft, 60-0058 ‘LA’ (‘Clip 91’), also from the 20th BS, followed the next day, March 15, landing at Fairford at 1547hrs. What are expected to be the final aircraft involved in the deployment, 61-0015 ‘LA’ (‘Dryer 91’) and 60-0032 ‘LA’ (‘Dryer 92’), landed at Fairford this morning, March 16. Both were from the 2nd BW’s other subordinate unit, the 96th BS ‘Red Devils’. It has not been disclosed how long the deployment is expected to last.
The deployment will test how the aircraft can conduct missions using Fairford as a forward operating location. It will also include joint and allied training in the US European Command theatre to improve bomber interoperability. Training with joint partners, allied nations and other US Air Force units contributes to the United States’ ready and postured forces and enables the building of enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges, says the USAF in an official release.