Saudi Royal Air Force fighter jets escorted the U.S. Air Force B-52 heavy bombers over the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility Jan. 7, 2021.
According to a recent service news release, Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force F-15SA fighter jets escorted U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortresses from Minot Air Force Base with F-16 Fighting Falcons fighter jets through CENTCOM.
“The bomber deployment underscores the U.S. military’s commitment to regional security and demonstrates a unique ability to rapidly deploy on short notice,” the Air Force said in a statement.
The flight of B-52H bombers over the region was designed to underscore America’s continuing commitment to the Middle East to respond to a potential Iranian attack at U.S. troops in the region.
Earlier in December 2020, Pentagon sends pair of B-52 bombers from their base in Barksdale, La., to the Middle East and back to “deter aggression” in the region. The U.S. military has also taken other steps in recent weeks, including sending the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz back to the Middle East and dispatching an additional fighter jet squadron from Europe.
The B-52 is a long-range, heavy bomber that is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet and provides the United States with a global strike capability.