US transfers strategic bombers to Europe
The US has transferred a group of B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers to the Fairford Air Base in England, AirForce Times reports, citing the US Air Force Command in Europe. The bombers can carry nuclear bombs and cruise missiles.
Four B-52H Stratofortresses landed at the Royal Air Force base on Thursday after flying over the Atlantic from the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
The deployment has been overseen by the Global Strike Command, which aims to “practice operating in the region of the forward base in the interests of carrying out tasks from the Air Force Command in Europe and the US European Command,” the US military said in a statement.
The bomber crews will practice integrating and cooperating with their European allies and familiarize themselves with the conditions of the regional military theater, the US command noted, without specifying how long the aircraft would remain.
This is the third time that US strategic aircraft have been transferred to Europe this year, Interfax notes.
In March, six B-52H bombers flew to the UK for a brief stay. During that time, they made a series of training flights along the Russian borders in the Baltic region. The Russia Defense Ministry claimed that such flights were practice for airstrikes.
At the end of August, the US temporarily deployed three B-2 Spirit strategic stealth bombers in England. These aircraft, which are also capable of carrying nuclear weapons, are stationed at the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
The bombers made a series of training flights around the British islands and practiced brief landings for refueling at the advance airfields in Iceland and in the Portuguese Azore islands.
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