B-52s Demonstrate Maritime Role at RIMPAC

B-52 bombers forward-deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, flew 20-plus-hour missions to train in aerial interdiction of maritime targets with naval forces near Hawaii during the Rim of the Pacific exercise. “This includes gathering intelligence, honing our skills in low-level flying, providing close air support, and simulating strikes when targets are found,” said Maj. Christopher Morris, planning chief for the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, the contingent of airmen and B-52s deployed from Minot AFB, N.D. The B-52s flew low-level mining runs on the first two sorties, seeding shipping lanes with inert sea mines to train Navy minesweepers, according to Andersen’s Aug. 2 release. Refueling twice en-route, the bombers flew more than 3,000 miles roundtrip on the first runs on July 11 and July 13. “As a Navy-centric exercise, we’re thrilled about the air capabilities that our B-52s were able to provide,” said Col. Randy Kaufman, Anderson’s 36th Operations Group commander. RIMPAC runs through Aug 9. (Andersen report by 2nd Lt. Sarah Bergstein)