The U.S. military flew a pair of B-52 Stratofortress long-range bombers to the Middle East Sunday for a deterrence mission against Iran.
A KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron and two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing were spotted on Sunday flying over Israeli airspace heading to the Persian Gulf.
U.S. Central Command later confirmed that B-52H crews conduct second Middle East presence patrol of 2021 as key part of CENTCOM’s defensive posture.
The details were given in a 17 January media release, to announce U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircrews successfully completed a presence patrol in the Middle East, marking the second such mission of 2021.
Bomber Task Force missions are observable ways to demonstrate the U.S. military’s continuing commitment to regional security, said U.S. Central Command’s commander.
“‘Short-term deployments of strategic assets are an important part of our defensive posture in the region,” said Gen. Frank McKenzie. “The training opportunity and continued integration with regional partners improves readiness and delivers a clear and consistent message in the operational environment to both friends and potential adversaries, alike.”
This is the fifth Bomber Task Force mission into the Middle East in the last few months.
.@usairforce B-52H crews conduct second Middle East presence patrol of 2021 as key part of CENTCOM’s defensive posture. @DeptofDefense @USAFCENT @TeamMinot @AirMobilityCmd @US_Stratcom #B52https://t.co/evxntC3GeH pic.twitter.com/or9tKq7cPE
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 17, 2021
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.