SOUTHWEST ASIA –
Coalition and regional partner air forces joined a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress and two F-22 Raptors on a presence patrol mission across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility March 29.
The bomber’s flight originated at Royal Air Force Fairford, England, and flew over the East Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, and Red Sea before departing the region.
“With each bomber task force mission, AFCENT and partner air forces demonstrate the strength of regional airpower,” said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, Ninth Air Force (AFCENT) commander. “An unprecedented nine countries flew with our B-52 today, so this mission clearly signaled our ability to quickly bring forces to the theater and operate seamlessly with our partners during a training event that signals our combined commitment to regional stability and defense.”
The non-stop B-52 mission included fighter escorts from the Royal Air Force and regional partner nations, enhancing regional stability and security through a show of combined strength and capability.
The flow of airpower throughout theater during this presence patrol was significant due to the addition of F-22s, which entered the USCENTCOM AOR in February.
The B-52 and their aircrew are assigned to 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota and flew the mission under Air Force Global Strike Command’s bomber task force mission-set.
USCENTCOM, through Ninth Air Force (AFCENT), has facilitated two bomber task force missions in 2022 as a demonstration of the U.S.-led coalition’s commitment to promoting regional stability. The last bomber-led mission across the Central Region involved one B-52 and occurred Feb. 14, 2022.