United States Air Force carried out an exercise involving the B-52H Stratofortress bombers, the aim of which was to train the capabilities of carrying out long-range sorties.Two bombers flew from the Barksdale AFB to Australia for 44 hours, without any stopovers.
The USAF release stresses the fact that the mission was executed in tight cooperation with the Australian Department of Defence. The aim of the initiative was to demonstrate and test the capabilities to execute the operational activities in cooperation with the ally within the US Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.
Throughout the 44 hour-long sortie, the B-52H bombers dropped conventional ordnance over the Delamere range in Australia. The bombers also executed a low-pass over the Australian Tindal Airbase. The bombers took-off and landed at the Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.
The US B-52H bombers are widely used in exercises, coordinated with the NATO allies and other allies of the United States. These exercises include the Saber Strike and Baltops operations taking place in the Baltic Sea area, also in Poland. Both of the aforementioned exercises took place in June. The Americans deployed three bombers which were involved, among other operational activities, in provision of CAS (Close Air Support).
It is worth to note that some of the USAF B-52H bombers are going to be deprived of their nuclear capabilities, in order to meet the requirements of the New START treaty. However, this does not mean that they are going to be withdrawn, since they are also going to be used in conventional operations, including reconnaissance sorties. These aircraft are being constantly modernized, e.g. within the scope of their communication systems. According to the available information, they are going to remain in active service at least until 2040. The last B-52 entered service in the USAF back in 1962.