NEWS | July 9, 2015

B-52 Partners with Colombian Aircraft, Confirms Regional Commitment

By U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. – A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., embarked today on a 16-hour, non-stop mission to Colombia.

During the mission to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility, which was closely coordinated with the Colombian Ministry of National Defense, the aircraft will join up with aircraft from the Colombian Air Force to practice common aerial tactics and procedures before conducting a flyover demonstration at the Feria Aeronautica Internacional Rionegro (F-AIR) Colombia 2015 International Air Show.  

“USSTRATCOM aircraft regularly conduct training with and in support of the Geographic Combatant Commands (GCCs), our Allies and regional partners around the world,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander.  “The aircraft’s participation in this airshow and the training conducted alongside our Colombian partners allow our strategic aircrews to maintain a high state of readiness and crew proficiency.”

According to Gen. John F. Kelly, USSOUTHCOM commander, the flight also demonstrates the U.S. commitment to regional security and the recognition of Colombia as a key regional partner. 

“Our support to Colombia is based on more than just a shared history; it is based on Colombia’s enduring importance to our national security. Training missions such as these ensure effective cooperation between our countries,” said Kelly.

This is not the first time a B-52 has flown to or conducted partnered training in the Central American, South American or Caribbean regions. A B-52 participated in USSOUTHCOM’s annual Exercise PANAMAX in August 2014. The U.S. also participated at the F-AIR Colombia International Air Show twice in the past decade, with participation of a B-52 in 2006 and a B-1B Lancer in 2008.