Another Continuous Bomber Presence

The Air Force will begin a continuing rotation of B-1 and B-52 aircraft to the Central Command area of operations, switching between the two aircraft as the current B-52 deployment wraps up. B-52s in February deployed to CENTCOM for the first time after the Air Force was able to expand a runway to fit the massive bombers. These aircraft replaced B-1Bs, which were forced to? leave CENTCOM for the first time since 2001 and return to the continental US for upgrades. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said during a Wednesday briefing that the newly upgraded B-1s and the B-52s, with the recently upgraded infrastructure in CENTCOM, will rotate through the area of operations much like USAF bomber squadrons rotate through the Pacific. However, unlike the Pacific bomber rotation, it is not likely that B-2s would rotate through CENTCOM and, because of current operations tempo, there is not a need for more than one squadron deployed at a time, Goldfein said.