After four weeks of continuous bomber presence in England, Bomber Task Force Europe 20-1 has finally concluded.
Over 300 Airmen and four B-52H Stratofortress aircraft have completed their mission and are returning home to Barksdale Air Force Base here in Bossier City.
While at Fairford, the B-52s flew missions alongside NATO partners providing assurance for our allies and deterrence for our potential adversaries.
“Bomber Task Force rotations provide us with a consistent and near-continuous long-range weapon capability, and represent our ability to project air power around the globe,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa. “They also provide invaluable opportunities to train and integrate with our allies and partners in the Black Sea, Baltic and the Arctic regions. By varying types and overall numbers of aircraft on each BTF rotation we are able to train to a variety of scenarios and partners while we demonstrate our ironclad commitment to our NATO allies and our promise to ensure regional security.”
The B-52s flew 32 sorties while at Fairford alongside other bombers, tankers and fighters while exercising with 13 other partner nations. The B-52s also dropped 60 practice munitions in four different countries.
“Being here and talking with [our allies & partner militaries] on their ranges makes us more lethal,” said Lt. Col. John Baker, BTF commander and 96th Bomb Squadron commander.
Photo: A B-52H Stratofortress bomber, assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing from Barksdale Air Force Base, flies below a KC-135 as part of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-1 while deployed to RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, Nov. 4, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric Coffer)