SOUTHWEST ASIA –
One U.S. Air Force B-1B “Lancer” aircrew flew a presence patrol mission in the Central Region that included several partner nation air forces today.
The bomber task force mission – the fifth in U.S. Central Command’s area of operation this year – was intended to deliver a clear message of reassurance, said the command’s top general.
“We are stronger together,” said Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander, U.S. Central Command. “Military readiness for any contingency or mission – from crisis response to multilateral exercises to one-day presence patrols like this – depend on reliable partnerships.”
Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia joined the patrol with fighter escorts over their respective airspaces. The five-hour, non-stop patrol originated in the Indian Ocean, flew over the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman before departing the region.
McKenzie said these types of missions can achieve a range of effects and are an important part of the command’s force posture.
CENTCOM has coordinated four similar patrols – three in January and one in March – since the beginning of the year.