B-52s roar over Guam during bomber surge

B-52

B-52

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Members of the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron flew surge missions and launched six of its B-52 Stratofortresses on a large scale training flights Sept. 4 and 5 from Andersen AFB, Guam.

The training mission allowed crewmembers to practice more than the standard two-ship deconfliction plan while maintaining situational awareness of the battlefield, other players and weapons, said Andersen Air Force Base officials.

“This is the first time six B-52s have taken off from Andersen for this type of mission since Operation Linebacker II,” said Brig. Gen. Philip M. Ruhlman, the 36th Wing commander.

The two-day, large-scale surge demonstrated the Air Force’s capabilities to activate heavy air support at a moment’s notice.

“Recent history has shown large formations of aircraft are used at the onset of most conflicts such as Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom,” said Capt. Jason Grubaugh, the 20th EBS weapons and tactics chief. “The goal of this surge mission is to simulate large formation global strike capabilities in a robust threat environment allowing us to train the way we fight, making us better aviators and operators.”

During the surge, the bombers flew more than 60 hours and simulated launching joint air-to-surface standoff missiles and conventional air-launched cruise missiles on simulated targets.

“Missions such as these demonstrate our commitment to protecting the resources of the United States and our allies while helping maintain stability in the Pacific region,” General Ruhlman said.

The 20th EBS is deployed here from Barksdale AFB, La., as part of the continuous bomber presence in the Pacific region. By maintaining a continuous forward presence and conducting joint exercises, Pacific Air Forces officials are able to foster improved relations and interoperability with its regional friends and allies.

Stephen Teel

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