The U.S. Air Force in Europe and Africa spokeswoman Renae Pittman on Thursday denied claims that two Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jets made a B-52H bomber turn away from the Russian border over the Baltic Sea.
Russia’s SU-27 jets did not chase the U.S. B-52H bomber away from the Russian border over the Baltic Sea and the plane managed to complete its mission, US Air Force in Europe and Africa spokeswoman Renae Pittman told TASS news agency.
“On March 20th, the B-52 had a routine interaction with a Russian Su-27 while conducting operations over the Baltic Sea. The pilots were using transponders and operating in conformity with international law. The Russian aircraft did not chase the B-52 away, and the bomber was able to complete its mission. Operations and engagements with our allies and partners demonstrate and strengthen our shared commitment to global security and stability,” she said.
The U.S. Air Force has sent six B-52 long-range bombers to the United Kingdom for a series of training activities over Europe. The aircraft and over 450 airmen arrived at Royal Air Force base Fairford on Thursday (14 March 2018) from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
Recently, four U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortresses flew from RAF Fairford, England to several places in Europe including the Norwegian Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
United States Strategic Command demonstrates commitment to U.S. allies and partners through the global employment of military forces. Bomber missions, like those from RAF Fairford, represent our unwavering support to our allies and our commitment to regional security.
NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “This is a routine deployment, but it shows that the US nuclear umbrella protects Europe and demonstrates the unique capabilities the US could bring to Europe in a crisis. The B-52 deployment is yet another sign that the United States is strongly committed to NATO”.
The strategic bombers, part of the Bomber Task Force currently deployed to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, are from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The aircraft arrived in theater on March 14-15 and are temporarily operating out of RAF Fairford. The deployment of strategic bombers to the U.K. helps exercise RAF Fairford as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s forward training location for bombers.
The United States has deployed strategic bombers in Europe at least once a year since 2014.