— Official News Release, Minot Air Force Base —
Air, maintenance and support crews from bases around Air Force Global Strike Command forward deployed to Royal Air Force Fairford, June 5, 2015 to participate in the multi-national BALTOPS 2015 and Saber Strike exercises.
During these exercises, B-52H Stratofortresses from Minot AFB will demonstrate the ability of AFGSC assets to project conventional air power anywhere, anytime by conducting flying missions with European nations. This is the second year AFGSC has deployed assets to the European area of responsibility.
“We are here as an asset of U.S. Strategic Command in order to participate in BALTOPS and Saber Strike and the associated countries that participate in both these exercises,” said Lt. Col. Bradley Dyer, 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander. “Our partnership with the countries out here in U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa is significant. We need their support, and we want to assure them they have our support as well for any kind of conflicts that may arise in the future — our relationship with them is key.”
BALTOPS was designed to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through increased interoperability and cooperation among regional allies.
Saber Strike is a long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise conducted annually, which aims to improve cooperation and capabilities of participating nations for future contingency operations and train participants on command and control as well as interoperability with regional partners.
“The significance of us participating with our (allies) and the importance of why we participate with them is to show them we can project bomber capability into the European theater at any time,” Dyer said.
Dyer added that participating in these multi-national exercises also reflects the importance of RAF Fairford and keeping the capabilities necessary to support any exercise or mission of AFGSC assets here. Ensuring the capabilities to deploy are here and the base can be used at a moment’s notice, demonstrating to our allies and partners we’re here and committed to assurance and deterrence within the European AOR, he said.
Image: A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, arrives at Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford, United Kingdom, June 5, 2015. During the short-term deployment, three Minot-based B-52 bombers, supported by more than 330 Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen, are scheduled to conduct training flights with ground and naval forces around the region and participate in multinational Exercises BALTOPS 15 and SABER STRIKE 15 over international waters in the Baltic Sea and the territory of the Baltic states and Poland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Malia Jenkins/Released)