BUFFs Fly in US-Japan Exercise

B-52H bombers from the 23rd Bomb Squadron at Minot AFB, N.D., serving a four-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam, participated earlier this month in AnnualEx 20G, the latest iteration of the US-Japan bilateral training exercise. During the exercise, which took place Nov. 13 to 19, the B-52s flew more than 10 sorties over the Pacific Ocean and coordinated their activities with US naval forces. The B-52s flew both in friendly and adversarial roles. When flying as friendly assets, they conducted maritime surveillance, searching for “enemy” ships and working with friendly naval units to determine the best course of action. “It was really eye-opening to see the difference between the ways different services operate,” said Capt. Joe Little, commander of the squadron’s weapons flight. He continued, “It was a little difficult at first, but by the end of the first week of the exercise, we were on the same page as our Navy brethren.” The Minot B-52s arrived on Guam in early October as part of a rotation with fellow B-52s from Barksdale AFB, La. The US maintains a continual bomber presence in the region to deter aggression. (Andersen report by A1C Ryan Whitney)