U.S. Air Force B-52s deploy to Europe - 2019
On March 14-15 six U.S. Air Force Stratofortress B-52 bombers arrived at RAF Fairford, Glouchestershire, United Kingdom. The aircraft belonging to the 2nd Bomb Wing, from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, United States, represent the largest deployment in Europe of a single bomber platform since 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom, when 17 B-52s and more tham 900 people from the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot AFB, North Dakota, were deployed to Fairford. This deployment of strategic bombers to the United Kingdom helps exercise RAF Fairford as United States Air Force in Europe’s forward operating location for bombers, as well as implements joint and allied training in the U.S. European Command theater to improve bomber interoperability. The importance of such event was highlighted by the press conference held Tuesday, March 19, at RAF Fairford. The U. S. Air Force’s principal spokesperson for the conference was Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, Deputy Commander, United States Air Force in Europe - Air Forces Africa. Media attending the conference also had the opportunity to hear from the 501st Combat Support Wing Vice-Commander, Col. Ron Cheatham, and from the Bomber Task Force in Europe Commander, Lt. Col. Mike Esposito. Col. Cheathman gave the welcome greetings to Lt. Gen. Harrigian and friends of 2nd Bomb Wing. He also remembered the special relationship with surrounding community who has made possible a so long permanence in the Fairford area, so much to reach 75 years and to be able to celebrate the anniversary this year. Lt. Col. Esposito talked about the purpose and training opportunities during this deployment, as well as of the privilege for the 2nd Bomb Wing of being involved.
As principal spokesperson, Lt. Gen. Harrigian also said :
“..... this task force of six B-52s and about two-hundreds supporting personnel bring a unique highly improve of air capability in Europe with our NATO allies and European partners.
……. This task force represent the largest number of U.S. bombers in European theater since 2003, when we had seventeen bombers deployed here to the area Fairford supporting the Iraqi Freedom Operation. …… .This bomber task force is just one example of U.S. strategic deterrent forces that protect the nations and the NATO Alliance.
…… This deployment of combat air power is a visual example of our commitment ….. U.S. and Allied forces are watching 24-hours a day, seven days a week, …. “
Here reported, there are just some significative parts of what said, a complete account of the conference can be heard from the following link: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/666279/btf-2019-media-day
The B-52 Stratofortresses will be conducting flights from RAF Fairford to different places in Europe, with purpose to carry out theater familiarization for aircrew members and demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners. Deployment like this tests and evaluates the readiness of strategic assets to ensure they are able to perform all security commitments.
The U.S. Air Force in Europe’s resident unit at RAF Fairford is the 420th Air Base Squadron, one of the Air Base Squadrons in charge the 501st Combat Support Wing. Task of the resident unit is to provide unparalleled mission support to receive, bed down and sustain deployed forces to enable U. S. and NATO warfighters to conduct a full spectrum of flying operations from the base, which is the only bomber Forward Operating Location of the U.S. Air Force Europe.
Report and Photos Renzo Del Bianco
- Media Kit RAF Fairford Press Conference