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2 B-52s fly 'show-of-force' mission through Persian Gulf

2 B-52s fly 'show-of-force' mission through Persian Gulf
A B-52H Stratofortress departs for a long-range training mission at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Wednesday. Photo by Lillian Miller/U.S. Air Force

Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Two U.S. B-52H Stratofortresses flew a show-of-force mission in the Persian Gulf intended to deter attacks from Iran Thursday, the Pentagon said.

The aircraft, assigned to Louisiana's Barksdale Air Force Base-headquartered 2nd Bomb Wing, flew a short-notice nonstop mission the military said was "designed to deter aggression" and assure allies and partners the United States can rapidly deploy military power.

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"Potential adversaries should understand that no nation on earth is more ready and capable of rapidly deploying additional combat power in the face of any aggression," U.S. Central Command's commander, Gen. Frank McKenzie, said.

"Our ability to work together as partners on a mission like this heightens our collective readiness to respond to any crisis or contingency," McKenzie said.

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The B-52s were joined by aircraft from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.

This is the second U.S. show-of-force mission involving B-52s in the region in as many months.

In November, two U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircrews assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., flew through the Middle East in a short-term mission.

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The mission comes two weeks after the assassination of a top nuclear scientist in Iran and amid escalating tentions between the United States and Iran.

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"We do not seek conflict," McKenzie said, "but we must remain postured and committed to respond to any contingency or in opposition to any aggression."

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