Strategic Reach

Two B-52s from Barksdale AFB, LA., completed a 44-hour, nonstop mission to Australia and back, according to a US Strategic Command release. “These flights are one of the many ways the United States demonstrates its commitment to a stable and peaceful Indo-Asia Pacific region,” said Adm. Cecil Haney, STRATCOM commander. During the mission, which concluded on July 2, the B-52s of Barksdale’s 2nd Bomb Wing integrated with Australian airmen on the ground, dropped inert conventional weapons on the Delamere Air Weapons Range in northern Australia, and performed a low approach over RAAF Base Tindal, states the release. The base is north of the range. Since 2010, the Air Force has periodically deployed B-52s to Australia for short training stints. B-52s have been frequent world travelers this year. For example, in June, three B-52s from Minot AFB, N.D., operated for a while from RAF Fairford, Britain, supporting NATO training exercises in the Baltic Sea area.