B-1B Lancers Arrive in Europe for NATO Exercises

B1-B Lancer bombers arrived here from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, June 7. The strategic bomber deployment will support exercises Saber Strike and BALTOPS, familiarizing aircrew with air bases and operations in different geographic combatant commands.

“Adding the B-1 provides us the opportunity to show the world we can expertly integrate our bomber’s unique capabilities and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to supporting global security and our ability to launch a credible strategic defense force,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Daniel Diehl, the 37th Bomb Squadron commander.

U.S. Strategic Command bomber forces regularly participate in events like BALTOPS and Saber Strike, which enables crews to train alongside NATO allies and regional partners, while exercising the United States’ key bomber capabilities.

“We have a really unique opportunity here. On a routine day-to-day basis we get to train with the land, air and naval forces of both NATO allies and partners in the region,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Timothy Beck, the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “By doing this we’re able to validate our safe, secure, effective and ready deterrent bomber force firsthand.”

Strategic Deterrence
Deterring a strategic attack against the U.S. and its allies is Stratcom’s fundamental mission. These exercises, in conjunction with multinational operations, allow U.S. and NATO allied and partner militaries to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training.

“These strategic bomber missions, especially when integrated, provide unparalleled training opportunities for our forces to work together in a joint environment,” said Air Force Col. Jared Kennish, the 322nd Air Expeditionary Group commander. “Our bomber forces routinely conduct these types of engagements with allies and partners…strengthening our capabilities and ensuring our ability to prepare for contingencies and rapidly response to crises.”

The participation of bomber forces in exercises such as BALTOPS and Saber Strike demonstrates the ability of the U.S. bomber force to provide a credible, flexible, and always-ready capability to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations, both conventionally and strategically, when called to do so.

Source: AFPS

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