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B-52 bombers demo long reach of U.S. air power

Two U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers flew non-stop to Australia and back, demonstrating the long reach of U.S. air power.

By
Richard Tomkins
A U.S. B-52 bomber in flight. Photo by U.S. Air Force.
A U.S. B-52 bomber in flight. Photo by U.S. Air Force.

OFFUTT AFB, Neb., July 6 (UPI) -- The long reach of U.S. air power has been demonstrated by two U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers that conducted a non-stop mission to Australia.

The bombers, from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, flew non-stop to Australia, coordinated with Royal Australian Army forces, and conducted a conventional bomb drop before returning to the United States, the Air Force said.

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The total time in their air: 44 hours.

"These flights are one of the many ways the U.S. demonstrates its commitment to a stable and peaceful Indo-Asia Pacific region," said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander. "In addition to strengthening aircrew skills and enhancing their familiarity with operating worldwide, combined training and theater security cooperation engagements with our regional allies serve to improve our interoperability and capability to respond to any potential threat together."

The U.S. Strategic Command's bombers regularly conducts such training and engagements around the world. Last month three B-52s deployed to Royal Air Force base Fairford in Britain and conducted training flights with ground and naval forces and participated in multi-national exercises over international waters in the Baltic Sea.

A month earlier, two B-52s participated alongside Jordanian forces in U.S. Central Command's Exercise EAGER LION 2015. The mission consisted of a nonstop, 30-plus hour sortie from the continental U.S. to the USCENTCOM area of operations.

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