B-1B Lancers Arrive in Europe for NATO Exercises
(Source: US Air Force; issued June 9, 2017)
A B-2 Spirit deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., lands at RAF Fairford, in England, where it joined B-52 and B-1B bombers already deployed. The B-2 regularly conducts strategic deployments, but rarely to Europe. (USAF photo)
RAF FAIRFORD, England --- B1-B Lancer bombers arrived here from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, June 7. The strategic bomber deployment will support exercises Saber Strike and BALTOPS, familiarizing aircrew with air bases and operations in different geographic combatant commands.

"Adding the B-1 provides us the opportunity to show the world we can expertly integrate our bomber's unique capabilities and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to supporting global security and our ability to launch a credible strategic defense force," said Air Force Lt. Col. Daniel Diehl, the 37th Bomb Squadron commander.

U.S. Strategic Command bomber forces regularly participate in events like BALTOPS and Saber Strike, which enables crews to train alongside NATO allies and regional partners, while exercising the United States' key bomber capabilities.

"We have a really unique opportunity here. On a routine day-to-day basis we get to train with the land, air and naval forces of both NATO allies and partners in the region," said Air Force Lt. Col. Timothy Beck, the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. "By doing this we're able to validate our safe, secure, effective and ready deterrent bomber force firsthand."

Strategic Deterrence

Deterring a strategic attack against the U.S. and its allies is Stratcom's fundamental mission. These exercises, in conjunction with multinational operations, allow U.S. and NATO allied and partner militaries to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training.

"These strategic bomber missions, especially when integrated, provide unparalleled training opportunities for our forces to work together in a joint environment," said Air Force Col. Jared Kennish, the 322nd Air Expeditionary Group commander. "Our bomber forces routinely conduct these types of engagements with allies and partners...strengthening our capabilities and ensuring our ability to prepare for contingencies and rapidly response to crises."

The participation of bomber forces in exercises such as BALTOPS and Saber Strike demonstrates the ability of the U.S. bomber force to provide a credible, flexible, and always-ready capability to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations, both conventionally and strategically, when called to do so.

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Air Force B-2 "Spirit" Stealth Bombers Arrive in UK
(Source: US Air Force, issued June 09, 2017)
RAF FAIRFORD, United Kingdom --- Two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers joined B-1B Lancers and B-52H Stratofortresses June 9 to participate in theater bomber assurance and deterrence operations.

Three B-52Hs from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and three B-1Bs from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., along with approximately 800 Airmen, are currently supporting exercises Saber Strike and BALTOPS in the U.S. European Theater.

While not actively participating in ongoing regional exercises, the B-2s join the other Air Force Global Strike Command assets in support of recurring bomber assurance and deterrence operations. Bomber deployments enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any contingency or challenge across the globe.

"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. Air Force Col. Jared Kennish, 322nd Air Expeditionary Group commander.

U.S. Strategic Command routinely conducts bomber operations across the globe as a demonstration of commitment to collective defense and to integrate with geographic combatant commands operations and activities. This is the first time that all three bomber platforms 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.

"This short-term deployment demonstrates the flexible global strike capabilities of the U.S. bomber force, and ensures bomber crews maintain a high state of readiness," said Kennish. "The training will provide opportunities to integrate capabilities with regional partners, and is part of the United States' commitment to supporting global security."

A number of total-force Airmen from Whiteman Air Force Base are supporting the B-2 operation. Many, including Kennish, are members of the Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing. The Guard wing has cleared a number of operational performance evaluations and readiness assessments to obtain full operational capability to perform the strategic bomber mission of the B-2 alongside the active duty 509th Bomb Wing, at home and at Fairford.

Members of the 131st BW have been a part of every previous bomber assurance and deterrence operation; however, this is the first time that the operations of all three strategic bombers has been led by a Guardsman, further signaling the full arrival of the total force construct in Air Force Global Strike Command.

"There may have been a time early in our transition when people wondered if our two wings could make [total force integration] work in the B-2 operations, maintenance and support missions, but we've long since proved the concept at Whiteman," said Kennish. "Operations like the ones we're supporting this month just put an exclamation point on our record of total-force team success."

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B-1B Lancers Support BALTOPS and Saber Strike Exercises
(Source: Air Force Global Strike Command; issued June 09, 2017)
RAF FAIRFORD, U.K. --- B-1B Lancers assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., joined B-52H Stratofortresses and approximately 800 U.S. Air Force Global Strike Airmen at RAF Fairford, June 8 to participate in U.S. European Command’s exercises.

The strategic bomber deployment will support exercises Saber Strike and BALTOPS familiarizing aircrew with air bases and operations in different combatant commands.

“Adding the B-1 provides us the opportunity to show the world we can expertly integrate our bomber’s unique capabilities and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to supporting global security and our ability to launch a credible strategic defense force,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Daniel Diehl, 37th Bomb Squadron commander.

U.S. Strategic Command bomber forces regularly participate in events like BALTOPS and Saber Strike enabling crews to train alongside with NATO allies and regional partners, while exercising the United States’ key bomber capabilities.

“We have a really unique opportunity here. On a routine day-to-day basis we get to train with the land, air and naval forces of both NATO allies and partners in the region,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Timothy Beck, 28th Aircraft Maintenance commander. “By doing this we’re able to validate our safe, secure, effective and ready deterrent bomber force first-hand.”

The responsibility to deter a strategic attack against the U.S. and its allies is USSTRATCOM’s fundamental mission. These missions in conjunction with multinational operations allow both USSTRATCOM, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the participating NATO allied and partner militaries to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training.

“These strategic bomber missions, especially when integrated, provide unparalleled training opportunities for our forces to work together in a joint environment,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jared Kennish, 322nd Air Expeditionary Group commander. “Our bomber forces routinely conduct these types of engagement with allies and partners…strengthening our capabilities and ensuring our ability to prepare for contingencies and rapidly response to crises.”

The participation of bomber forces in exercises such as BALTOPS and Saber Strike demonstrate the ability of the U.S. bomber force to provide a credible, flexible, and always-ready capability to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations, both conventionally and strategically, when called to do so.

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