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News | Feb. 15, 2022

Barksdale B-52s deploy to Indo-Pacific for Bomber Task Force

By 1st Lt. Kaitlin Cashin Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

More than 220 Airmen and four B-52’s assigned to the 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron,  Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, arrived at Andersen AFB, Guam, to conduct Bomber Task Force  missions in support of Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces, February, 2022.

U.S. Strategic Command routinely conducts BTF operations across the globe as a demonstration of U.S. commitment to collective defense and to integrate with Geographic Combatant Command operations. In this case, the BTF will support USINDOPACOM tasking while giving aircrews the opportunity to familiarize themselves with operating in a joint and coalition environment. 

“Every bomber task force mission demonstrates the credibility of our forces to address a global security environment that is more diverse and uncertain than at any other time in our history,” said Lt Col. Christopher Coleman, 96th EBS Commander. “Put simply, we are here to support a stable, secure, and free Indo-Pacific region.”

Col. Matthew McDaniel, the 2nd Bomb Wing Operations Group Commander, joined the expeditionary B-52 crew in their transit across the Pacific Ocean. 

"Dynamic force employment is all about operating with a smaller footprint, on a shorter timeframe, and being strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable," said McDaniel, "The 2nd Bomb Wing is always ready and Lt Col Coleman's team is here to demonstrate that fact." 

The arrival of the B-52H Stratofortress to Andersen AFB links U.S. Air Force personnel with their partners in the Indo-Pacific, enables collaborative training, and demonstrates U.S. commitment to the region.

“Training alongside our allies is important because it improves our combined military capabilities and the likelihood of success to accomplish military objectives,” Coleman said. “Reinforcing our connectivity and building personal relationships with our allies is critical to seamlessly executing combined objectives in the future.”

The BTF also helps Airmen focus on the full spectrum of military operations, whether it’s combat missions or humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

“This deployment has everything to do with developing the integral elements of agile combat employment,” said Maj James Bell, 96th EBS Project Officer. “Whether that’s working with new entities to provide our capabilities and discuss requirements needed to complete tasks or simply changing how we complete our missions to become more agile.”