A quartet of USAF-operated Boeing B-52H Stratofortress strategic heavy bombers have returned to Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), Guam, to conduct a Bomber Task Force (BTF) deployment in the Indo-Pacific region.
The four aircraft – all of which are assigned to the 96th Bomb Squadron (BS) ‘Red Devils’ – departed Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, and arrived at Andersen AFB on the Pacific island of Guam on January 28. During this BTF deployment, the four bombers will support joint training efforts between the USAF’s Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) command and regional allies, partners and sister services within the US military. According to the USAF, “these strategic-deterrence missions reinforce the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Lt Col Christopher Duff, commander of the 96th BS, said: “Deploying as a BTF exercises our ability to produce agile, combat power in any location we are needed. Our strategic bomber missions demonstrate our always-ready global strike capability. We remain ready to deploy to reach anywhere in the world at any time.”
This deployment comes just over two years since airmen and bombers from Barksdale AFB last deployed to Guam, as the last BTF mission they conducted in the Indo-Pacific region occurred in December 2018.
BTF deployments are a regular occurrence in both the Indo-Pacific region and the European theatre. These missions were established to enhance the training and readiness of bomber crews, allowing for them to respond to potential crises across the globe. It also provides an opportunity for geographical US combatant commands, such as PACAF, and regional allies and partners to integrate and train with USAF bombers in their own operational theatre.