China Contacts B-52 During Pacific Flight

Chinese ground controllers recently contacted a B-52 as it flew near man-made islands in the South China Sea, said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook on Nov. 12. Cook said the mission happened “recently,” though he could not say exactly when the flight took place. However, he did say the bomber continued its mission undeterred. “Nothing changed,“ Cook said. US officials have repeatedly said they would continue both air and sea operations in international waters in the disputed South China Sea. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, during a recent visit through the region, called on China to stop the militarization of the waters and said the US will continue to defend freedom of navigation in the area. (See also Don’t Call it a Comeback from the July issue and Bombers on Guam from the August issue of Air Force Magazine.)