Stuttgart, Germany —
The latest Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission in Europe occurred Thursday over the Barents Sea as a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft conducted integration operations with NATO Allies.
The bomber, assigned to Minot Air Force Base’s 5th Bomb Wing in North Dakota, departed Thursday and flew to designated locations where the bomber integrated with Greek and Norwegian F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and conducted aerial refueling operations with U.S. and Turkish KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. Upon completion of the missions, the aircraft and crew immediately returned to North Dakota. Missions like this demonstrate America’s continual global strike and global reach capabilities through the employment of strategic bombers.
The mission originally involved two bomber aircraft, but one aircraft safely diverted to RAF Fairford, England, Thursday afternoon due to a maintenance issue.
The U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, nuclear and conventional heavy bomber that can perform a wide variety of missions. Capable of flying at high subsonic altitudes of up to 50,000 feet, the bomber can carry precision guided conventional ordnance with worldwide precision navigation capabilities.
The U.S. Air Force continues to demonstrate its ability to execute flying missions and sustain readiness, all while protecting the health and safety of U.S. service members, Allies and partners in host nations where U.S. personnel live and work.