Support equipment and personnel the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, arrived at RAF Fairford yesterday for a regularly scheduled U.S. European Command and U.S. Strategic Command joint mission series accomplished alongside NATO Allies.
With an ever-changing global security environment, it's critical that our efforts with our Allies and partners are unified
"With an ever-changing global security environment, it's critical that our efforts with our Allies and partners are unified," said Gen Jeff Harrigian, NATO Allied Air Command Commander and USAFE-AFAFRICA Commander. "We're in Europe training and collaborating together, because consistent integration is how we strengthen our collective airpower," he added.
Allied fighters from the Portuguese detachment in Iceland and from the UK met the U.S. B-52 to work out air-to-air maneuvers and escort the bomber to RAF Fairford to execute the long-planned Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission on 10 February 2022. Photo courtesy of the Portuguese Air Force.
For the mission, the U.S. B-52s integrated with British Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to conduct bilateral Close Air Support training. The focus was enhancing readiness and interoperability for the Allied controllers responsible for coordinating airstrikes to support ground forces.
The U.S. Air Force has been regularly conducting BTF mission across the European theatre since 2018. These deployments are aimed to maintain the readiness and interoperability within the Alliance.