Guam, Bombers, and AirSea Battle

This spring the Air Force marked 10 straight years of its continuous presence of bombers at Andersen AFB, Guam, an effort that has paid dividends on anti-access, area-denial training, Air Force Global Strike Command boss Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson said in a recent interview. “When we talk AirSea Battle and A2/AD, what [ASB] means to me in some form is a habitual training relationship with our partners,” said Wilson. “In this case, it’s the US Navy.” Today, before AFGSC bomber crews deploy to Guam, they will do “work ups” with partners in 7th Fleet, identify which carrier air wing elements will deploy, send some airmen to Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev., and participate in a Navy fleet exercise. By the time everyone deploys to the Pacific, “they’ve already developed a relationship and can exercise and train routinely,” said Wilson. With four B-52 squadrons rotating on three-to-one deployments to Guam (six months in the Pacific, 18 months at home station), airmen receive opportunities they would not normally get at home station, Wilson added. Bomber groups have a “desired learning objective” on every continuous bomber presence sortie, focusing on what they are doing to improve ASB and A2/AD operations. As a result, there is constant communication between the bomber wings’ operations groups and those at Andersen “raising the game for everyone,” Wilson added.