The 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron’s B 1B Lancers and nearly 200 support personnel completed their Bomber Task Force Europe deployment at RAF Fairford, today, returning to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.
The strategic bombers supported a range of missions through their month and half-long rotation, and integrated with forces throughout the U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Northern Command theaters of operation.
“Maintaining peace and security across the globe requires a fighting force capable of maneuvering through various domains of warfare,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa. “We are building the Agile Combat Employment framework alongside our allies and partners to launch a cohesive team, postured and ready, to respond to adversary aggression.”
The strategic bombers joined NATO allies and partners throughout the Black Sea and Baltic Sea regions enhancing the coalition’s ability to respond to incursions threatening freedom of navigation and maneuver.
Many missions focused on the employment of new tactics across each component, allowing for intercept and escort training between coalition air forces, providing close air support to ground forces, and executing counter-maritime missions throughout the theater.
The BTF rotation combined fifth generation assets with the supersonic bombers by integrating with Norwegian F-35 Lightning II aircraft, advanced U.S. Cyber Command’s ability to counter threats by employing their Cyber Protection Team, and marked the first refueling via the innovative Versatile Integrating Partner Equipment Refueling kit.
Coverage of U.S. European Command’s BTF deployments are available on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service at: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/bombertaskforceeurope.