B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
The bombers are participating in the 45th edition of BALTOPS exercise which provides an opportunity for bomber crews to integrate with NATO allies and partner nations between June 1 and 16
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Ruiz, left, and Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Martin, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew members, load inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines into a B-52 Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 1 of 10: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Ruiz, left, and Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Martin, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew members, load inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines into a B-52 Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Ruiz, left, and Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Martin, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew members, transport an inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mine into the bomb bay of a B-52H Stratofortress at RAF Fairford, England, June 5, 2017. Bomber crews participated in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 2 of 10: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Ruiz, left, and Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Martin, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew members, transport an inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mine into the bomb bay of a B-52H Stratofortress at RAF Fairford, England, June 5, 2017. Bomber crews participated in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
A B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., departs RAF Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017 in support of Baltic Operations. BALTOPS provides an opportunity to exercise the increased joint capabilities of NATO and partner forces. The exercise will enable them to enhance their combat readiness so that, collectively, NATO can immediately respond to a range of real-world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 3 of 10: A B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., departs RAF Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017 in support of Baltic Operations. BALTOPS provides an opportunity to exercise the increased joint capabilities of NATO and partner forces. The exercise will enable them to enhance their combat readiness so that, collectively, NATO can immediately respond to a range of real-world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Julian Tisdale, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew team member, releases a strap on an inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mine at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 4 of 10: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Julian Tisdale, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew team member, releases a strap on an inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mine at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Julian Tisdale, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew team member, inspects inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 5 of 10: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Julian Tisdale, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew team member, inspects inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Julian Tisdale, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, prepares inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines to be loaded into a B-52H Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 6 of 10: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Julian Tisdale, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, prepares inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines to be loaded into a B-52H Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Blake Nickells, left, and Alexander Dones, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chiefs, conduct preflight inspections on a B-52H Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Exercises such as BALTOPS enable bomber crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency and validate the bomber’s always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 7 of 10: U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Blake Nickells, left, and Alexander Dones, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chiefs, conduct preflight inspections on a B-52H Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Exercises such as BALTOPS enable bomber crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency and validate the bomber’s always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Blake Nickells, right, and Alexander Dones, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chiefs, conduct pre-flight inspections on a B-52H Stratofortress at RAF Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Exercises such as BALTOPS enable bomber crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency and validate the bomber’s always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 8 of 10: U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Blake Nickells, right, and Alexander Dones, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chiefs, conduct pre-flight inspections on a B-52H Stratofortress at RAF Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Exercises such as BALTOPS enable bomber crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency and validate the bomber’s always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
A B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., lifts off the runway at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Crew members aboard B-52s will participate in BALTOPS, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise involving NATO allies and partner nations. BALTOPS provides bomber crews with opportunities to integrate capabilities with regional partners and is part of the United States’ commitment to supporting global security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 9 of 10: A B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., lifts off the runway at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Crew members aboard B-52s will participate in BALTOPS, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise involving NATO allies and partner nations. BALTOPS provides bomber crews with opportunities to integrate capabilities with regional partners and is part of the United States’ commitment to supporting global security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Blake Nickells, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief, waits out a storm while conducting pre-flight inspections on a B-52H Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Exercises such as BALTOPS enable bomber crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency and validate the bomber’s always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
10 photos: B-52s conduct bomber missions during BALTOPS 2017
Photo 10 of 10: U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Blake Nickells, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief, waits out a storm while conducting pre-flight inspections on a B-52H Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Exercises such as BALTOPS enable bomber crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency and validate the bomber’s always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Ruiz, left, and Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Martin, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew members, load inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines into a B-52 Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Ruiz, left, and Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Martin, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew members, transport an inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mine into the bomb bay of a B-52H Stratofortress at RAF Fairford, England, June 5, 2017. Bomber crews participated in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
A B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., departs RAF Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017 in support of Baltic Operations. BALTOPS provides an opportunity to exercise the increased joint capabilities of NATO and partner forces. The exercise will enable them to enhance their combat readiness so that, collectively, NATO can immediately respond to a range of real-world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Julian Tisdale, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew team member, releases a strap on an inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mine at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Julian Tisdale, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew team member, inspects inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Julian Tisdale, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, prepares inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines to be loaded into a B-52H Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 5, 2017. Bomber crews are participating in BALTOPS 2017, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise designed to strengthen interoperability and cohesiveness between NATO allies and partnered nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Blake Nickells, left, and Alexander Dones, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chiefs, conduct preflight inspections on a B-52H Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Exercises such as BALTOPS enable bomber crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency and validate the bomber’s always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Blake Nickells, right, and Alexander Dones, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chiefs, conduct pre-flight inspections on a B-52H Stratofortress at RAF Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Exercises such as BALTOPS enable bomber crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency and validate the bomber’s always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
A B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., lifts off the runway at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Crew members aboard B-52s will participate in BALTOPS, an annual, multinational, maritime-focused exercise involving NATO allies and partner nations. BALTOPS provides bomber crews with opportunities to integrate capabilities with regional partners and is part of the United States’ commitment to supporting global security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Blake Nickells, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief, waits out a storm while conducting pre-flight inspections on a B-52H Stratofortress at Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K., June 6, 2017. Exercises such as BALTOPS enable bomber crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency and validate the bomber’s always-ready global strike capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Three B-52H Stratofortresses from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., began missions in support of Baltic Operations on June 6. 

The bombers are participating in the 45th edition of BALTOPS exercise which provides an opportunity for bomber crews to integrate with NATO allies and partner nations between June 1 and 16.  

BALTOPS is an annual joint, multinational maritime-focused exercise designed to improve training value for participants, enhance flexibility and interoperability, and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner forces in defending the Baltic Sea region. 

“On a strategic level, we’re trying to demonstrate to our NATO allies that we can combine forces,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Fleming Thompson, 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron weapons officer. “On a tactical level, we’re breaking down the details to figure out exactly what we need to do and how to do it in order to accomplish the mission.” 

The exercise will involve maritime, ground and air forces to strengthen combined response capabilities necessary to ensure regional stability. 
Integration was on full display when U.S. Air Force Global Strike Airmen and the U.S. Navy collaborated in production of inert, (non-explosive) Quick Strike MK 62 mines in preparation for BALTOPS.  For the Airmen of the 2nd Bomb Wing, this means putting bombs, or mines, on target. 
“We’re having an impact, not just for ourselves, but for our allies as well.” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aldrin Magalong, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew team chief. “We’ve been working closely with the Navy and they’ve been teaching us a lot. Integrating with different branches has been great.” 
These missions provide U.S. and coalition military forces the training opportunity for laying and recovering mines. After the mines are deployed they will be recovered within 24 hours by NATO forces—these mines can then be re-used for future exercises.

“These exercises are getting us out there, setting the tempo and raising the bar,” Thompson said.  

These bombers will perform sorties in the Baltic Sea region, providing support to NATO and partner forces. The exercise will enable them to enhance their combat readiness so that, collectively, NATO can immediately respond to a range of real-world situations.

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