B-52 Flies Alongside F-35s, Qatari Aircraft as Part of Task Force Deployment

Qatar Emiri Air Force Mirage 2000s, a US B-52H Stratofortress, and US F-35A Lightning IIs fly in formation over Southwest Asia on May 21, 2019. Air Force photo by SrA. Keifer Bowes.

A B-52 flew alongside two F-35As and two Qatari Air Force Mirage 2000s in a formation over the water in Southwest Asia as the bombers continued their public flights to “defend US forces and interests in the region.”

Photographs posted by Air Forces Central Command show air-to-air missiles on the F-35s as they fly alongside the B-52.

The flight aimed to “continue building military-to-military relationships with” Qatar, according to the release.

Four B-52s deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, in the country earlier this month in response to reported threats from Iran to US interests and forces in the region.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said May 20 the deployment, along with that of a carrier strike group, has “put on hold attacks on Americans.”

“That doesn’t mean that the threats that we’ve previously identified have gone away,” Shanahan said. “Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region.”