13 Jun 2017

B1-B Lancer bombers arrive at RAF Fairford

B1-B Lancer bombers have arrived at Royal Air Force Fairford from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota to support exercises Saber Strike and BALTOPS, and allow aircrew to familiarise themselves with air bases and operations in different geographic combatant commands.

It is common practice for US Strategic Command bomber forces to take part in events like BALTOPS and Saber Strike, enabling crews to train alongside NATO allies and regional partners, while exercising the United States’ key bomber capabilities.

Air Force Lt. Col. Timothy Beck, the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander, commented: “We have a really unique opportunity here. On a routine day-to-day basis we get to train with the land, air and naval forces of both NATO allies and partners in the region.

“By doing this we’re able to validate our safe, secure, effective and ready deterrent bomber force firsthand.”

The exercises, in conjunction with multinational operations, allow US and NATO allied and partner militaries to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training.

Air Force Col. Jared Kennish, the 322nd Air Expeditionary Group commander, said: “These strategic bomber missions, especially when integrated, provide unparalleled training opportunities for our forces to work together in a joint environment.

“Our bomber forces routinely conduct these types of engagements with allies and partners…strengthening our capabilities and ensuring our ability to prepare for contingencies and rapidly response to crises.”
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