NEWS | Oct. 17, 2014

B-52 Stratofortresses to participate in NATO exercise

By U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. – U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) assigned B-52 Stratofortress bombers will conduct two long-range flights to the U.S. European Command area of operations this month, where they will participate in NATO Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION.

These bomber flights, which support the Maritime component of Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION, are specifically designed to provide opportunities to synchronize bomber capabilities with NATO allies and partners while demonstrating the U.S.’s commitment to enhancing regional security.

According to Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander, the B-52 flights will demonstrate the U.S. capability to provide a flexible and always-ready force to respond to a variety of threats and situations, while supporting U.S. efforts to build and foster partnerships with NATO allies.

“The participation of U.S. bombers in Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION, which was specifically requested by NATO leadership, provides truly unique opportunities for our bomber crews to strengthen and improve interoperability with our Allies and partners while working toward mutual goals,” said Haney. “It is important that we continue to train our strategic bomber force in a variety of joint environments, to ensure we remain proficient in key skill sets and ready to respond to a variety of potential threats, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION involves more than 13,000 multinational troops and takes place across Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.  The purpose of the exercise is to validate the readiness of forces to rapidly respond to any NATO contingency, while highlighting the interoperability of NATO forces and the commitment of NATO nations.  Within their participation of the maritime component of the exercise, B-52s will practice the command, control and employment of simulated conventional weapons operations, supporting the exercise’s focus of validating the Spanish Maritime Forces as the 2015 Maritime NATO Response Force.

The B-52 flights in support of Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION follow the June deployment of three B-52s and two B-2 Spirits to Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford, England, where the bombers trained and integrated with U.S. and allied military forces in the region.  

USSTRATCOM forces routinely conduct training missions worldwide in support of geographic combatant commands to ensure the U.S. has a credible and flexible capability to respond to a variety of potential threats. Bomber operations enhance this capability by providing the President a variety of options he may need to protect the nation or its allies and partners.

The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. B-52s can fly at high subsonic speeds at altitudes up to 50,000 feet.