‘A trip down to RAF Fairford bagged some take off and landings from B-1B bombers deployed there from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. On return after a short exercise one of the pairs gave us a touch and go followed by a steep climb. The steep banking that followed was and incredible sight,’ Phillips says.
B-1B Lancers, supporting equipment, and personnel from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Dyess Air Forces Base (AFB), Texas, arrived at RAF Fairford, England, on Oct. 6, 2021 to execute the long-planned Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission, a regularly scheduled US European Command and US Strategic Command joint mission series.
USEUCOM has been conducting BTF missions since 2018, which have consisted of rotations of B-1B Lancers, B-52 Stratofortresses, and, most recently, B-2 Spirits. According to a USAFE news release, the series of US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) missions allow US bomber crews to deploy to unfamiliar airfields and integrate with a range of coalition allies and partners to enhance readiness.
“BTF missions amplify our coalition reach and project our collective airpower across theaters,” said Gen Jeff Harrigian, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander. “By training and integrating with our allies and partners, we are expanding our ability to adapt to challenges and counter adversaries in the global security environment.”
The bombers were escorted into the theater by UK fighters as they ascended into RAF Fairford.
Strategic bomber missions within the USAFE-AFAFRICA theaters demonstrate the US Air Force’s unique capability to rapidly deploy and integrate with NATO allies and coalition partners while providing necessary training to the joint force.
Photo credit: Dafydd Phillips
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