Military Aviation

USAF will continue to send all 3 types of bombers to Pacific after the end of CBP but not for extended periods

The task of having a nuclear bomber in the Pacific will now be taken up by the B-2 which will “come out episodically.”

During a virtual event with the AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, the head of U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) Gen. Timothy Ray assured that the service will continue to send bombers to the Pacific, just not for extended periods.

As we have recently explained, when the 69th Bomb Squadron left Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), it brought an end to the basing of bombers in the Pacific, which USAF had done since 2004. While B-1s were sent almost immediately back to the area in direct flights from the US, there has not been a nuclear bomber presence in the Pacific since the decision was made to end the Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP).

Ray said for the immediate time being, that will remain. According to Air Force Magazine, up until this month, two of the service’s four B-52 squadrons had been deployed and they need time to “reset.” B-1s bring a different capability, including the ability to fly faster and carry other types of weapons that are important in the region. Lancers carry AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles and AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range missiles, “and I think you’ll see that it has great operational benefit to our partners and allies,” he said.

“We will bring nuclear bombers into the theater on a regular basis,” Ray said. “The B-52s are simply resetting, [so] the B-2s are picking up a little bit more of the load. B-2s will come out episodically.”

It’s also just easier for the USAF to send B-1s because they are conventional.

This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. B-1B Lancer 28th FW, 34th BS Thunderbirds, EL/86-129 / 2005

“There’s a few people who get a little alarmed when you bring a nuclear bomber into their airspace,” Ray said. “We look at the B-1 as a great capability: I can land it in a lot of places physically that I can’t land a B-52, and I can operate with more people. So we’re going to feature that a little bit more in the Pacific.”

Now that all bomber squadrons are based in the United States, where they have simulators and access to ranges that aren’t available while deployed, they will soon be “in very good shape” and be available for additional long-distance direct flights and small task force rotations, Ray said.

 “You’ll see all three bombers operating in the Pacific,” he said.

On Apr. 17, 2020 the USAF announced it will no longer base strategic bombers outside of the continental US, marking an end to the service’s 16-year CBP at Andersen AFB.

The new “dynamic force employment” model allows the bombers to operate from a “broader array of overseas locations” with greater resilience, while keeping the aircraft permanently based in the US.

The long-expected change comes as service leaders, including Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Ray himself, have said dynamic deployments of task force-size groups of bombers will be more effective in the future.

This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

US Navy Operations Specialist tells why an F-16 armed for the SEAD mission would win against an S-400 SAM most of the time

The SA-21 Growler The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name SA-21 Growler) is a mobile, surface-to-air… Read More

30 mins ago

The story of when two Concorde supersonic airliners landed simultaneously at Orlando International Airport (They cooked the runway when they took off)

When two Concorde supersonic airliners landed simultaneously at Orlando International Airport Taken on Oct. 18,… Read More

31 mins ago

The Israeli F-4E crew that hit an Egyptian Mi-8 with gunfire and then used the afterburner’s thrust to push the helicopter down into the ground

Israeli F-4E crews shooting down very low-flying Egyptian Mi-8 helicopters The American-manufactured F-4 Phantom II was… Read More

2 days ago