The U.S. Air Force has announced that two B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, conducted integration and interoperability training with French air force Mirage fighters and Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters during a tri-lateral training sortie as part of the long-planned Bomber Task Force Europe mission, Aug. 27, 2020.
This marks the first time a Bomber Task Force Europe mission has launched from a forward-operating location since COVID-19.
“We talk a lot about interoperability, and today’s mission demonstrates what that actually means,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “Aircraft from three different nations received fuel from partner nation tankers highlighting our ability to seamlessly operate together. This type of training strengthens our relationships and enables us to be ready to operate as a coalition anytime, anywhere.”
French air force KC-135 aircraft and RAF Voyager aircraft provided the refueling necessary to enable long-range, long duration strategic missions demonstrating NATO’s tanker interoperability.
Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, are deployed to RAF Fairford, England, to conduct training with partners and allies during this Bomber Task Force Europe rotation.
Bomber missions familiarize aircrew with air bases, airspace, and operations in different geographic combatant commands. They demonstrate the credibility of our forces to address a global security environment that is more diverse and uncertain than at any other time in our history.