NEWS | Nov. 14, 2019

Bomber Task Force 20-1 Completes Mission in Europe

By Tech. Sgt. Aaron Thomasson 501st Combat Support Wing

On the evening of the Oct. 10, 2019, four B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers from the 2nd Bomb Wing departed Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, enroute to a month-long deployment at RAF Fairford, England. While based at RAF Fairford, the bombers, air crew, maintainers and support personnel conducted integration and interoperability training with European allies and partners in the region.

The 2nd Bomb Wing Airmen worked together with military and civilian personnel from the 501st Combat Support Wing. Together, they demonstrated Air Force Global Strike Command’s ability to conduct bomber operations from a forward operating location in support of U.S. Air Forces in Europe  and U.S. European Command  mission objectives.

They also worked with aircraft and crews from allied and partner nations, training together in joint environments, which enabled the units to develop their skills at operations in different regions and enhanced global stability and security.

On the Nov. 7, the 501st Combat Support Wing held a media press conference in support of the bomber’s deployment. Speakers at the conference included Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, Deputy Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa; Col. Kurt Wendt, Commander, 501st Combat Support Wing; and Lt. Col. John Baker, Commander, 96th Bomb Squadron.

Basham highlighted the purpose of the bomber deployment in maintaining stability in the region, saying “Every day our goal is another day of peace.”

Basham was also joined at the media day by Royal Air Force Deputy Commander for Operations, Air Marshall Gerry Mayhew. Together, the leaders talked with attendees about the importance of and readiness between the two countries.

“This is about interoperability,” Mayhew said. “We have to work together in peace so we can push the message out they we’re ready to do anything, anywhere – and that’s what our two nations and our partners in NATO are about.”

The bombers left RAF Fairford at the conclusion of their mission and returned to Barksdale Air Force Base.